Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Outrageous! Book Review: ROYAL PAINS, by Leslie Carroll

 Let me ask you something...how important is it for you to learn about historical figures when reading history? Are you one of those people who strictly wants timelines with just a mere mention of names- OR- do you mostly crave facts and details on people of the past? If you tend to lean on the latter, Leslie Carroll’s nonfiction books are perfect for you!
After finishing Royal Pains, I felt completely satiated- a definite history fill that I am still raving about. Royal Pains is history bliss for anyone wanting to know up to the very last detail on notorious historical figures. EXCEPT that this time Carroll focuses on the brutes of history.
Yep, Royal Pains is filled with royals that were decadent, unbelievably brutal, carnal and destructive in every way.  Some parts were incredibly gruesome to read but nonetheless; this is the history.  It’s still unbelievable to me that some of those brutal acts were either condoned or extremely difficult to prosecute! Although I was shocked to learn about some of these historical monsters, I have to admit that some of their behaviours were so astonishing that I had to keep on reading with the hope that they would have somehow redeemed themselves.  But no! Brutes till the very end!
The absolute worst for me was Erzsebet (The blood countess).  This woman from a young girl was Evil incarnated.  I can’t possibly think of anyone (in any time in history!) that compares to her- an absolute monster! Catching up to her is the runner-up Mr. Cruel himself, Ivan The Terrible; he actually ties with Vlad the Impaler...Are you getting the picture here?  Royal Pains had me in a trance.  I’ve never read so much detailed history written this way-I was captured from the beginning!
And, for a bit of respite from the barbarians found in Royal Pains, the crème de la crème of narcissists are presented.  Two of my favourites being: Lettice Knollys and Pauline Bonaparte...oh the joy! If these two didn’t make the cut for brutality, they certainly aced the part of blatantly immoral. Just when you think you’ve read all that there is to read on these ladies...surprise, surprise- there’s more! And then the list of 'bad seeds' goes on.  (The ‘good old days’ does not apply here.).
Royal Pains is a fascinating read- a one-of-a kind history book that will feed you details by the ton. I love reading about historical figures but I can never get enough info on these.  It’s not the case with Leslie Carroll’s books! This author knows her history and brings the characters to life as she tells their story. I’ve found her style to be just as captivating and true to the figures in all her nonfiction works: Royal Affairs, Notorious Royal Marriages and now, Royal Pains.
History’s people are Leslie Carroll’s expertise- She’s definitely my favourite historian author.  Get the book- you’ll be SHOCKED.


BurtonReview said...

Lettice is one of my favorite Elizabethan figures. I loved her in Holt's My Enemy the Queen and then just recently in George's Elizabeth I.
I shall pick this up when I need some shocking history lessons =)

Crazy Life of a Writing Mom said...

I LOVE Leslie Carroll ;)

I'm following.


Michelle Stockard Miller said...

I have Notorious Royal Marriages and, unfortunately, still have not read it. I really need to! And I really want to get this book as well. I always hear good buzz about her books. Great review, Lucy!

Unknown said...

Loved it! I think this is my favorite thus far!

Ingrid Mida said...

It sounds like a great read but will it give me nightmares?
I'm one of those people that prefers a happy sort of ending...

ceecee said...

Hi Lucy!
Thanks for pointing that out. Yes, they're spam bots. They leave fake stats and tons of bloggers are having this problem. But they're usually on your dashboard stats. Have you checked yours? I'm not sure where that link came from. Blogger help says just don't click on and it won't be a problem, just incorrect stats but not on sitemeter. You can hide your 'Links to this post widget'. They haven't found a way to do anything about it, yet!
Hope all's well, Lucy.

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