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Cupid and the King: Five Royal Paramours
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Cupid and the King: Five Royal Paramours

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  87 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
The royal European courts were unsurpassed for their glamour, wealth, fame, danger, treachery, and politics. The royal mistress was at the center of that world -- admired for her beauty and sensuality; feared for the power she wielded; even vilified, envied, and resented. In times when women had very little power, the royal mistress had enormous influence, and yet she is s ...more
Paperback, 378 pages
Published January 3rd 2006 by Touchstone (first published 1991)
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Sep 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Princess Michael of Kent, has chronicled the lives of five of the most famous (or infamous) maitresses en titre in history:

Nell Gwyn grew up in the gutter, the daughter of an alcoholic prostitute. But through bawdy charm and talent, she became a comedic actress on the London stages, and caught the eye of Charles Stuart. Though she wasn't as high-born as his other ladies, "Nellie" retained a place in Charles' heart until his death, and was faithful to him for the rest of her short life.

Madame de
Dec 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
I was all set to give Cupid and the King three stars, when I found out that quite a bit of the information on Lola Montez was wrong. And what, I ask you, is the point of a biography which is wrong?

I thought I would fill in the author page for Lola Montez and just googled a couple of bits I couldn't remember from the book, only to find that several of the "facts" were inaccurate. Her birthplace? Wrong. Her date of birth? Wrong. The title and subject matter of a book she wrote? Wrong. I haven't a
Jill Hutchinson
Sep 09, 2011 rated it liked it
An interesting book about the women who often shaped the rule of Kings and Princes....all of whom any reader of history recognizes. Of the five women who appear in this book, two probably actually loved their paramours (the Pompadour and Marie Walewska) and three (Nell Gwyn, Lola Montez, and Lillie Langtry) were opportunists and basically high priced prostitutes. The early years in the life of the royal courts of Great Britain and the Continent were based on gaining favor and position through an ...more
Jan 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Pretty good. I know there is some controversy around the author so I am cautious of that when I read her work. The instances that she chose were interesting and I was fascinated by the women and relationships they had with their kings. I think the Lola story was not so much of a romantic story as most people seem to believe but she took an unbiased approach which I liked. Though I didn't like the inclusion of Marie and Napoleon as there seems to be justification of how he treats her which I real ...more
Jul 19, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Lovers of royal biographies
Shelves: nonfiction, biography
I like this author more than I probably should. She's always a little biased in favor of her subjects and leaves out quite a bit of info that rounds out there character and would make her books that much better. Still, she has a gossipy tone and revels in details that appeal to the tabloid lover in me. I've read biographies of several of the women profiled in this book that are better, but the book is still an enjoyable read.
Feb 09, 2014 rated it liked it
The book was easy to read, and informative - because when I read the book, I was clueless about the royal mistresses of any nation, and this book gave me a glimpse into that life.

I have always been fond of biographies after reading this book, and therefore I remember it with more pleasure than it is due.
The book is pretty repetitive (literally, in many sections) and HRH Princess Michael of Kent seems to stretch the reality of these relationships to suit her thesis.

It was interesting, but I don't really believe it was historically accurate or intelligent. That said, I bought it for 1GBP, so it was a good enough deal.
Sep 03, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book to determine if Princess Michael of Kent could write. Conclusion - not really, but it is definitely readable - an account of five paramours of different European monarchs (Madame de Pompadour, Lola Montez, Marie Walewsksa, Nell Gwynn, Diane de Poitiers) - but it does not shed any new light on their lives. It's simply a rehashing of other biographers' accounts.
Mark Gaulding
Dec 27, 2008 rated it liked it
The Princess certainly has the credentials of perspective to write about the subject. Very good book. I'm a anglophile, royal-phile and obsessed with famous courtesans, so this was a perfect fit. I was very pleasantly surprised with the author's abilities.
Francheska Gonzales
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a great look into the concubines of the past. Stories of five brave and at sometimes devious women and their struggle to keep the love and power of their king. I would definitely say if you enjoy learning about history especially from these era's then this is a good read.
Aug 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 900
It's kind of hilarious that Charles II added his many illegitimate sons to the rolls of British nobility as Dukes. Now every time I read a regency romance with a Duke in it, I'm going to be wondering if he's descended from one of Charles' bastards.
Jun 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
mistresses,love,lies,betrayal, all sum up... a typical historical book dealing with the the then monarchs... i was not surprised though.
Aug 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Such engaging stories about the lovers of the most famous Kings. Powerfully written, engrossing to read... Keen to reread it!
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
Too long Too much info
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Aug 23, 2007
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Baroness Marie Christine Anna Agnes Hedwig Ida née von Reibnitz,is a member of the British Royal Family.

She is married to Prince Michael of Kent, who is a grandson of King George V.

Princess Michael is an interior designer and author, having published several books on the royal families of Europe.
More about Princess Michael of Kent...