HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Sex with the Queen: 900 Years of Vile Kings,…
Loading...

Sex with the Queen: 900 Years of Vile Kings, Virile Lovers, and Passionate…

by Eleanor Herman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7262719,661 (3.84)13
None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 13 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Such a fun read! How engaged modern students in history classes would be if their textbooks were as rich and vibrant as Sex with the Queen! All scandals aside, the vivid details mixed with well-documented facts, pull the reader into a world long since gone but instantly come alive and real. This was beyond pleasurable to read, heartbreaking and devastating to experience. Honest, with raw emotions, this book honors the women who chose their own paths, despite society's norms and followed their hearts into uncharted waters. ( )
  bookishblond | Oct 24, 2018 |
I don't know about you, but when I was a little girl, I wanted to be a princess when I grew up. There was the influence of Disney, but there was also the influence of Prince William (this was obviously before he grew up and started to look a lot more like his dad). From what you see on the outside, as a young girl, being a princess looks wonderful. You're rich, famous, and you get to wear a tiara. As a 13 year-old, I was pretty sure I'd found my future.

As it turns out, not so much. Also as it turns out, being royalty kind of sucks. There's plenty of speculation that Prince Harry's trouble in finding a steady girlfriend is (at least in some measure) the pressure of becoming a member of the royal family. As an adult, the idea of trading living under a microscope, with public interest in your private life extending not just to juicy stories, but to snooping on your phone and long-lens photography hoping to catch you taking off your top to tan more evenly, is a devil's bargain for getting to wear some pretty headgear once in a while.

But as much as there are significant downsides to being royalty today, it used to be much worse, especially for women. Author Eleanor Herman details the very real drawbacks being a princess or a queen. Royal women weren't people, they were bargaining chips in international diplomacy. They were married off to princes and kings who were old and fat, who were impotent, who were gay. They were expected to tolerate their husband's infidelity without doing anything that would cast doubt on the true parentage of their children. Those children were frequently unceremoniously confiscated from them and raised according to the wishes of others. Their lush castles were drafty and dirty, and their expensive physicians were as likely to kill them as help them. Their access to funding was usually controlled by other people and so they were slaves to the whims of those who held the purse strings. They were often deprived of the company of those to whom they could speak their native languages...their ladies-in-waiting from their home countries could be dismissed without their consent and seeing their family members required long, complex negotiations that fell through more often than not.

Some princesses and queens, though, didn't follow the rules. They took lovers at great risk to themselves...and even greater risks for the men in question. It is those women (and their men) who Herman's Sex with the Queen is about. After detailing how awful it actually was (and still is, on a certain level) to be a princess, Herman moves into the good stuff: dishy gossip. From the Tudor queens Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard all the way to Princess Diana (it's not just English queens, there are stories from all over Europe), we're regaled with tales of forbidden passion and courtly intrigue. It covers the expected subjects (the aforementioned Tudor queens, Marie Antoinette, Catherine the Great) as well as some lesser-known stories, like that of Sophia Dorothea of Celle and Queen Maria Francisca of Portugal. There's not a lot of substance here, it's mostly well-written soap opera, but it's fun and frothy and easy to read. ( )
  500books | May 22, 2018 |
Eleanor Herman has followed up her successful Sex with Kings by covering the other half of royal adultery with Sex with the Queen. Although still amusing, it’s not quite as good as the first book; perhaps it was a little rushed or perhaps there’s just not as much information available about royal lovers as there is about royal mistresses. Herman abandons the categories of the first book to go with a more conventional chronological order here, but her emphasis is still feminist; the difficult life of a royal mistress in the first book is paralleled by the notion that being queen is not all it’s cracked up to be. Princess Sophia Dorothea of Hannover was imprisoned until her death after she was caught trying to flee with her lover, Count Philip von Köningsmark (Köningsmark was killed and buried in quicklime under the palace floor). Matilda of Denmark’s lover Count Struensee had his hand chopped off (because he had presumed to touch the queen) before being drawn and quartered. Queen Caroline of England and her husband George IV hated each other so much that when George was told that his worst enemy was dead, he gloated “Is she, by God!” only to be disappointed when he discovered the messenger was referring to Napoleon.


Women who were Queen in their own right did somewhat better than adulterous royal consorts. Tsarina Elizabeth of Russia had four admitted lovers at a time, and her successor Catherine the Great (after Catherine’s annoying husband Peter III was strangled by her lover Gregory Orlov) had a whole stable of them.


Herman finishes the book with a tabloidesque discussion of the affairs of Princess Diana. I can’t quite get a feel for what Herman actually thinks about Diana; she reports every rumor of Diana’s affairs (including the one that Prince Harry is actually the son of James Hewitt) but also expresses some grudging admiration for someone who she believes stood up to the British establishment. Diana does come across as moderately wacko, but I might end up that way too if reporters followed me around trying to acquire my used tissues so they could get DNA samples out of it.


This book has much more prurient language that Sex with Kings, although most of the nastiness is direct quotes from original sources. Rumor has it that Herman’s next book will be about sex with Popes, which ought to complete the series. Lightweight reading, with some interesting history thrown in. ( )
  setnahkt | Dec 19, 2017 |
I don't know about you, but when I was a little girl, I wanted to be a princess when I grew up. There was the influence of Disney, but there was also the influence of Prince William (this was obviously before he grew up and started to look a lot more like his dad). From what you see on the outside, as a young girl, being a princess looks wonderful. You're rich, famous, and you get to wear a tiara. As a 13 year-old, I was pretty sure I'd found my future.

As it turns out, not so much. Also as it turns out, being royalty kind of sucks. There's plenty of speculation that Prince Harry's trouble in finding a steady girlfriend is (at least in some measure) the pressure of becoming a member of the royal family. As an adult, the idea of trading living under a microscope, with public interest in your private life extending not just to juicy stories, but to snooping on your phone and long-lens photography hoping to catch you taking off your top to tan more evenly, is a devil's bargain for getting to wear some pretty headgear once in a while.

But as much as there are significant downsides to being royalty today, it used to be much worse, especially for women. Author Eleanor Herman details the very real drawbacks being a princess or a queen. Royal women weren't people, they were bargaining chips in international diplomacy. They were married off to princes and kings who were old and fat, who were impotent, who were gay. They were expected to tolerate their husband's infidelity without doing anything that would cast doubt on the true parentage of their children. Those children were frequently unceremoniously confiscated from them and raised according to the wishes of others. Their lush castles were drafty and dirty, and their expensive physicians were as likely to kill them as help them. Their access to funding was usually controlled by other people and so they were slaves to the whims of those who held the purse strings. They were often deprived of the company of those to whom they could speak their native languages...their ladies-in-waiting from their home countries could be dismissed without their consent and seeing their family members required long, complex negotiations that fell through more often than not.

Some princesses and queens, though, didn't follow the rules. They took lovers at great risk to themselves...and even greater risks for the men in question. It is those women (and their men) who Herman's Sex with the Queen is about. After detailing how awful it actually was (and still is, on a certain level) to be a princess, Herman moves into the good stuff: dishy gossip. From the Tudor queens Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard all the way to Princess Diana (it's not just English queens, there are stories from all over Europe), we're regaled with tales of forbidden passion and courtly intrigue. It covers the expected subjects (the aforementioned Tudor queens, Marie Antoinette, Catherine the Great) as well as some lesser-known stories, like that of Sophia Dorothea of Celle and Queen Maria Francisca of Portugal. There's not a lot of substance here, it's mostly well-written soap opera, but it's fun and frothy and easy to read.
1 vote ghneumann | Jun 29, 2016 |
Eleanor Herman's non-fiction book "Sex With the Queen" covers roughly 900 years of sexual escapades and adultery by queens and princesses. I had always known that kings had many adulterous liaisons, but I had assumed that queens had little opportunity to be anything but faithful to their husbands.

Although many ordinary people envied royalty's beautiful attire, rich surroundings and fabulous jewels, the fact is that queens had little freedom and led lonely, boring lives. They lived in foreign countries, far from their native languages and customs, and in most cases never saw family and friends for the rest of their lives. Servants did their work and took care of their children, leaving the queens to do little but embroider all day.

In order to avoid inbreeding and create international liaisons, princes and princesses where betrothed to royalty from other countries, often sight unseen. In some cases, the kings or princes were fat, ugly, uncouth, unfaithful, insane, gay, cold, or even impotent.

Frustrated women turned to other men for affection with varying results. Some queens were beheaded, imprisoned, exiled, or sent to convents, and some were tolerated and a few queens even thrived despite their illicit behaviors.

Many of the stories are quite funny, like the unfortunate woman who married an impotent king who was so fat that he had his servants roll him through his palace's corridors and insisted that priests say mass in his bedroom but were not allowed to awaken him. Many stories had tragic endings. But whatever the outcomes, the queens' stories made fascinating reading.

The first two chapters of this book give examples of so many kings and queens, some of whom I had never heard of, that my head was spinning. But starting with chapter three, Herman goes into depth about the love affairs of the wives of Henry VIII, as well as Catherine the Great, and many other queens, up to and including Princess Diana of England who was so desperate for love that her life was vastly more pathetic than I ever imagined.

If your prurient interests may be aroused by the funny, sad, uplifting and tragic tales of historical women who desperately sought love and sex despite potential consequences, I highly recommend this well-researched and very readable book. ( )
1 vote TeachArt1 | Mar 12, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (4)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060846747, Paperback)

In royal courts bristling with testosterone—swashbuckling generals, polished courtiers, and virile cardinals—how did repressed regal ladies find happiness?

Anne Boleyn flirted with courtiers; Catherine Howard slept with one. Henry VIII had both of them beheaded. Catherine the Great had her idiot husband murdered and ruled the Russian empire with a long list of sexy young favorites. Marie Antoinette fell in love with the handsome Swedish count Axel Fersen, who tried valiantly to rescue her from the guillotine. Princess Diana gave up her palace bodyguard to enjoy countless love affairs, which tragically led to her early death.

In this impeccably researched, scandalously readable follow-up to her New York Times bestseller Sex with Kings, Eleanor Herman reveals the truth about what has historically gone on behind the closed door of the queen's boudoir.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:54 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"In this follow-up to Sex with Kings, Eleanor Herman reveals the truth about what goes on behind the closed door of a queen's boudoir. Sex with the Queen explores the sexual lives of some of our most beloved and infamous female rulers."--BOOK JACKET.

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.84)
0.5
1 1
1.5 2
2 7
2.5 3
3 32
3.5 9
4 78
4.5 4
5 34

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 136,346,599 books! | Top bar: Always visible