Doomed Queens: Royal Women Who Met Bad Ends, From Cleopatra to Princess Di
Illicit love, madness, betrayal--it isn’t always good to be the queenMarie Antoinette, Anne Boleyn, and Mary, Queen of Scots. What did they have in common? For a while they were crowned in gold, cosseted in silk, and flattered by courtiers. But in the end, they spent long nights in dark prison... show more
Illicit love, madness, betrayal--it isn’t always good to be the queenMarie Antoinette, Anne Boleyn, and Mary, Queen of Scots. What did they have in common? For a while they were crowned in gold, cosseted in silk, and flattered by courtiers. But in the end, they spent long nights in dark prison towers and were marched to the scaffold where they surrendered their heads to the executioner. And they are hardly alone in their undignified demises. Throughout history, royal women have had a distressing way of meeting bad ends--dying of starvation, being burned at the stake, or expiring in childbirth while trying desperately to produce an heir. They always had to be on their toes and all too often even devious plotting, miraculous pregnancies, and selling out their sisters was not enough to keep them from forcible consignment to religious orders. From Cleopatra (suicide by asp), to Princess Caroline (suspiciously poisoned on her coronation day), there’s a gory downside to being blue-blooded when you lack a Y chromosome. Kris Waldherr’s elegant little book is a chronicle of the trials and tribulations of queens across the ages, a quirky, funny, utterly macabre tribute to the dark side of female empowerment. Over the course of fifty irresistibly illustrated and too-brief lives, Doomed Queens charts centuries of regal backstabbing and intrigue. We meet well-known figures like Catherine of Aragon, whose happy marriage to Henry VIII ended prematurely when it became clear that she was a starter wife--the first of six. And we meet forgotten queens like Amalasuntha, the notoriously literate Ostrogoth princess who overreached politically and was strangled in her bath. While their ends were bleak, these queens did not die without purpose. Their unfortunate lives are colorful cautionary tales for today’s would-be power brokers--a legacy of worldly and womanly wisdom gathered one spectacular regal ruin at a time.
Publish date: October 28th 2008
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Pages no: 176
Edition language: English
, European Literature
, British Literature
, Womens Studies
, European History
, World History
This was a 50/50 for me and I wasn't sure if to give it a 2 1/2 or 3 star rating but decided on giving it a 3. I enjoyed reading this because I learned about Queens that I had never heard about before and this allowed me to do more research on those whom I found interesting. Each woman only gets a o...
Disappointing, thought I was going to be reading something a little more depth. I was looking for longer sections. Instead what I got was a lot of smaller chapters. There were many "queens" I didn't care about. Think it would've been much better had the author concentrated on a handful of "queens" w...
If you want a short synopsis on several queens who met interesting ends, this is the book for you! I read it in about two hours, and it was interesting. Full of facts, yet not so drawn out as to have you lose interest in the character that is being portrayed. Great for young readers interested in hi...
A quick, easy read, Doomed Queens offers a light-hearted, tongue in cheek look at some of the world's female monarchs--and their (for the most part) untimely demises. This book would have been far better had it been a tad longer. Each lady was given only 2 - 3 pages in which to detail her rise to ...
Interesting, but ultimately shallow. Great for a light read, but the author merely skims the surface of the history she's taken on. Could have been better.