I've always loved reading about histories, as far back as I can remember. In fact, it was also one of my favorite school subjects.
I guess it stems from the fact that I love stories and histories, for me, sort of contain this crucial background element. I've always been interested in the basic, underlying facts. Come to think of it, this may have also been fate determining my eventual entry into psychology.
But I digress. Anyway, 2 of my summer reads are from my personal collection which I just read through again. And in the spirit of the recent William and Kate royal wedding, I dug these 2 out of storage and voraciously devoured through them once more.
So without further adieu, I present Nigel Cawthorne's The World's Greatest Royal Scandals and Michael Farquhar's A Treasury of Royal Scandals!
The World's Greatest Royal Scandals by Nigel Cawthorne
The World's Greatest Royal Scandals, written by Nigel Cawthorne and originally published in 1999, is a good read on the scandalous histories of the world's greatest and well-known monarchies (full summary can be read here at Amazon.com.)
Aside from the famous British monarchs, it also includes a few chapters on select French, Russian, and Austrian royal families, among others.
What I love about this book is that the author presented the British chapters chronologically, starting with the most recent known scandal -- the disastrous wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana -- down to the earliest known English royals.
I do wish, however, that the book was chronologically arranged the other way around (from past to most recent) for a much easier read and understanding of the ancestors.
The book is part of the famous "The World's Greatest" series of books and as such I would also like to think of this tome as the equivalent of our cheap Tagalog novels being sold in the bangketas. As such, expect a few misspelled words and less-than-impressive editing.
Other than that, the book is a good read when it comes to juicy royal scandals. Any lover of histories, particularly those pertaining to the world's well-known royal families, will surely treasure this book for a long time.
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
A Treasury of Royal Scandals by Michael Farquhar
A Treasury of Royal Scandals, written by Michael Farquhar and published in 2001, serves almost the same juicy gossips as the first book mentioned (for a complete summary, please refer to this link from Amazon.com.)
Differences lie in how the chapters and entries were written and arranged. Whereas Nigel Cawthorne's arranged his entries chronologically, this book classifies and categorizes chapters based on the nature of the story (i.e. sexual encounters, executions and the like.)
Although one may have a hard time linking which royal ancestor is related to the other, the book, however, provides a detailed family tree that you can refer to from time to time (and believe me, there were really some very twisted branches! What with uncles marrying nieces, cousins to cousins and whatnot.)
The book also includes stories from a few notorious Catholic popes and some entries regarding Napoleon Bonaparte's reign, among others.
This book is definitely more well-written and better edited than the first one, but still serves the same type of drama one may expect from feuding royals and the like.
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.