Sunday, January 10, 2010

Book Review: NOTORIOUS ROYAL MARRAIGES by Leslie Carroll

Hot off the press as of January 5Th Notorious Royal Marriages is now available in book stores everywhere.

Leslie started with affairs of royal proportion and has now moved to the other side of the fence with "Notorious Royal Marriages". I really loved Royal Affairs and it made it easy to love this one too.

The deciding factor for me is that in the past year I have read less than five non-fiction reads in the past year, really this is my 3rd. Pathetic, I know and I am even disgusted with myself about it. My issue is that I need to feel it and breathe what I am reading. That way I absorb more of it. Leslie's bite size chunks of the most notorious royal marriages really was able to keep my attention. I found her gift for details impeccable. For instance, in the murder of David Rizzo (Mary Queen of Scots top advisor) Leslie's keen sense of details set the stage like no historical fiction novel I have ever read.
"Lady Argyll caught a candle as it was about to fall and snuffed it out, leaving the room illuminated only by the fire in the hearth"
In my mind I had for some reason always pictured the murder happening in broad daylight. Knowing that it was dark and creepy while her closest advisor hid in her skirts, with her husband holding her back, David was murdered at her feet. It really put a new perspective on Mary and what life was like for her before her imprisonment in England.

Another person I gained a whole new view point on with one quote from Leslie. From her section on Victoria and Albert, Victoria was taking notice of Albert's breeches:
"Albert accompanied her to a parade review in Hyde Park, where Victoria may have taken more notice of her fiance's physique than the military marches, observing with... "Nothing under them"
Catherine the Great was another person that surprised me. I had no idea that she was in possession of such forward thinking.
"Supported the radical new vaccination against small pox, founded a medical college, built hospitals, and, entirely from her own purse, funded the creation and maintenance of a foundling home that offered free care to the indigent"
Curiously Catherine also created the an early version of the "onesie". Being a mother that puts her high in my ranks. I can not say how many times a onesie came in handy when taking care of babies, a necessity to any mother.5/5 What makes it a five you ask? As I stated before I NEVER read non fiction, it is not that I do not want to. I just find it can be dry and not to my liking. I usually about half way through get distracted with a fiction read I am craving for. If I can even finish a whole non-fiction then it must be really good. The personal information from the quotes all the way to the clothing worn, Leslie did not leave out any of the juicy details. Leslie has such a witty stlye that it breathes life into the notorious marriages through out history. As Leslie has stated before "If you think historical fiction is good you can not even imagine what really happened". I have decided that I need to mark for follow up reads: Elenore of Aquitaine, Catherine De Medici, Catherine the Great, Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie, Nicholas II, and of course Grace Kelly.

Thank you Leslie for sending me this wonderful book I really did loved it!


  1. wonderful review Lizzy! I really like those quotes that you chose - there are so many good ones that it must have been hard to choose a few! I agree with you that this didn't even feel like a non fiction - I just floated right though!

  2. Great review- and I couldn't agree with you more! Not only was the book incredibly interesting, it also set the stage for follow-up reading- and I love that. seems like you an I might be sharing tips on good follow-up books on the last Tsar:)

    Thanks Lizzy- loved it:)

  3. I really feel that I am starting to go in all different directions in my choices lately. I am really trying to branch out I think I am just starting to take notice of other people more. The book is good for like a HF compass. It helps me navigate which direction I want to head to next.

    The Napoleon thing is really in my mind... more like freaking me out Lucy...his "member sold"? What the hell? Crazy I had no idea but I need the logic before I can leave it alone.

    Thank you Heather and Lucy, it was a great read I am glad you guys liked it too. I never read non fiction but I really enjoy Leslie's books.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...