Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sex with Kings

by Eleanor Herman

I picked up this book in hopes of finding some interesting facts and tidbits to use in my AP European History class. From the title alone, I was sure I would find something to spark the interest of a class of 17 - 18 year olds.... well, not really.

First of all the book is not written chronologically or by country, but by topics. Topics like Beyond the Bed -- The Art of Pleasing the King, Public Opinion and the Mistress as well as The Fruits of Sin -- Royal Bastards made it difficult to organize and use the information for my class. Looking for information on the political power of Madame de Pompadour proved difficult.

It ws next to impossible to keep up with all the kings and the countries they were from -- do you know how many Charles there are in England, not to mention France? At least 12, but I might have missed one or two.

I did pull afew interesting, classroom appropriate tidbits..

"Courtiers aped the king's treatment of the Queen. If he treated her with respect, so did they. If the queeen was to remain a significant pressence at court, she required her husband's support."


"Frederick III, the elector of Brandenburg, an uxorious prince who despised infidelity , appointed a beautiful court lady as his official mistress and loaded her down with jewels, even though he never touched her -- his wife would have killed him."

For the purpose I read the book -- to gather historical background and facts to add to my European History lectures -- it just did not measure up. I probably won't read other books by this author.

Rating - C

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the honest review. It sounds like you got a few interesting snippets, but it's probably not enough to justify the time you invested in reading the book.