epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,

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Book Review: Sex With Kings

Sex With Kings: Five Hundred Years Of Adultery, Power, Rivalry and Revenge by Eleanor Herman
This slim 2005 volume is a social history of royal mistresses. Oddly Anne Boleyn rates only 2 sentences. Written in the style of Celebitchy, this is an ode to the mistress that has insufficient regard for wronged ill-treated wives. The author also has an obvious dislike for Diana, Princess of Wales. The ending is which the author writes about herself, sums up her ‘Surrendered Wife’ take on marriage. This is bitchy and funny and tells of ruthless intrigue.

This is a tale of various pathological relationships, odd life situations, a lack of moral sentiment, insatiable ambition, calculating emotional manipulation and savage ambition. Mistresses and controversy were constant companions in 99% of cases, in the other 1% - they were given respectful remembrance. This was very good but it does not dwell on the fact that sometimes the royal favourite was a man.

Best Lines:
“Queens, unlike mistresses, left court only in coffins.”

“The long and open scandal of her life.”

“He announced to his shocked servants that he was a tulip; he planted his feet in the ground and ordered them to water him, which they did.”

“Vanished days of splendour.”

“Validate her position.”

“The whore he had made queen.”

“Intellectually limited almost to the point of imbecility.”

“Little to earn and much to lose.”

“The perfect companion doesn’t nag and complain.”

“His woman.”
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