Read Sex with Kings: 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge by Eleanor Herman Free Online
Book Title: Sex with Kings: 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge|
The size of the: 23.88 MB
Edition: William Morrow
Date of issue: June 29th 2004
The author of the book: Eleanor Herman
Format files: PDF
ISBN 13: 9780060585433
Read full description of the books Sex with Kings: 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge:Throughout the centuries, royal mistresses have been worshiped, feared, envied, and reviled. They set the fashions, encouraged the arts, and, in some cases, ruled nations. Eleanor Herman's Sex with Kings takes us into the throne rooms and bedrooms of Europe's most powerful monarchs. Alive with flamboyant characters, outrageous humor, and stirring poignancy, this glittering tale of passion and politics chronicles five hundred years of scintillating women and the kings who loved them.
Curiously, the main function of a royal mistress was not to provide the king with sex but with companionship. Forced to marry repulsive foreign princesses, kings sought solace with women of their own choice. And what women they were! From Madame de Pompadour, the famous mistress of Louis XV, who kept her position for nineteen years despite her frigidity, to modern-day Camilla Parker-Bowles, who usurped none other than the glamorous Diana, Princess of Wales.
The successful royal mistress made herself irreplaceable. She was ready to converse gaily with him when she was tired, make love until all hours when she was ill, and cater to his every whim. Wearing a mask of beaming delight over any and all discomforts, she was never to be exhausted, complaining, or grief-stricken.
True, financial rewards for services rendered were of royal proportions -- some royal mistresses earned up to $200 million in titles, pensions, jewels, and palaces. Some kings allowed their mistresses to exercise unlimited political power. But for all its grandeur, a royal court was a scorpion's nest of insatiable greed, unquenchable lust, and vicious ambition. Hundreds of beautiful women vied to unseat the royal mistress. Many would suffer the slings and arrows of negative public opinion, some met with tragic ends and were pensioned off to make room for younger women. But the royal mistress often had the last laugh, as she lived well and richly off the fruits of her "sins."
From the dawn of time, power has been a mighty aphrodisiac. With diaries, personal letters, and diplomatic dispatches, Eleanor Herman's trailblazing research reveals the dynamics of sex and power, rivalry and revenge, at the most brilliant courts of Europe. Wickedly witty and endlessly entertaining, Sex with Kings is a chapter of women's history that has remained unwritten -- until now.
Read information about the authorNew York Times best-seller Eleanor Herman offers a rare combination of skills for a historian – her research is intensely scholarly, yet she writes the story in a colorful, witty manner.
“History is so fascinating that it never has to be presented in a boring way,” she explains. “These were flesh and blood people, just like you and me, facing war and plague, falling in love, living among splendid art and gut-wrenching poverty. Sometimes people ask me if I plan to write novels. And I say, with all the things that really happened, who needs to make stuff up?”
Reviewers agree. The New York Times Book Review wrote that Eleanor writes “enlightening social history that is great fun to read.”
The Boston Globe wrote, “Herman’s writing sparkles off the pages.”
The Washington Post called Eleanor Herman “A lot more fun than Danielle Steel or Dan Brown.”
Eleanor calls herself a “Sherlock Holmes of history.” To research Mistress of the Vatican, she traveled to Italy hot on the trail of documents related to Olimpia Maidalchini and Pope Innocent X, and found a cache of their letters. She visited Olimpia’s palace in the Piazza Navona in Rome (now the Embassy of Brazil), her villa outside the city (now used by the prime minister of Italy for entertainment), and the papal palace of the Quirinale, (now the ceremonial palace of the President of Italy.) She visited Olimpia’s birthplace in Viterbo, 50 miles north of Rome, her tomb in San Martino, the town she built for dowerless girls, and her country hunting lodge, gracefully falling to ruin.
Eleanor read countless diplomatic dispatches, letters, and contemporary records on life in seventeenth century Rome. Her fluency in French, German, and Italian has been invaluable in researching sources that have never been translated into English.
Mistress of the Vatican is Eleanor’s third book. Sex with Kings – a history of royal mistresses – appeared in 2004, and Sex with the Queen – a history of queens who took lovers – was published in 2006. Eleanor is a frequent commentator in the media about royal scandals, and has hosted episodes for The History Channel’s show, Lost Worlds, to air in the 2007-8 season. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Eleanor graduated with a degree in journalism from Towson University, studied languages in Europe, and for thirteen years worked for NATO’S Nations & Partners for Peace magazine. She is married and lives in McLean, VA.
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