Sunday, May 4, 2014

Book Review: Princesses Behaving Badly

Title: Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories From History Without the Fairy-Tale Ending
Author: Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
Genre: Non-Fiction, History
Rating: 5/5
Page Count: 288
Publication Date: November 19th, 2013

Plot: (from Goodreads)
You think you know her story. You’ve read the Brothers Grimm, you’ve watched the Disney cartoons, you cheered as these virtuous women lived happily ever after. But the lives of real princesses couldn’t be more different. Sure, many were graceful and benevolent leaders—but just as many were ruthless in their quest for power, and all of them had skeletons rattling in their royal closets. Princess Stephanie von Hohenlohe was a Nazi spy. Empress Elizabeth of the Austro-Hungarian empire slept wearing a mask of raw veal. Princess Olga of Kiev murdered thousands of men, and Princess Rani Lakshmibai waged war on the battlefield, charging into combat with her toddler son strapped to her back. Princesses Behaving Badly offers minibiographies of all these princesses and dozens more. It’s a fascinating read for history buffs, feminists, and anyone seeking a different kind of bedtime story.

I bought this book kind of on a whim. It sounded interesting, like something I'd like, I kind of love history books (when I actually end up reading them, or finishing them I guess, they can be too dry sometimes). This one started with such a great little introduction to what it was all about, and even if this isn't your thing, I'm still going to suggest checking out the introduction if you can because so much yes.

Anyway - I loved this book and there were many reasons that caused that love for it. First, was the author's writing style, it was witty and I liked that she included the facts and then the gossip of the day, of now, and her own two cents. And that you knew the difference between all of those things. And the fact that she kind of told it how it was at points, where as others might not have wanted to quite hit that hard.

I'd actually only heard of less then five of these women, so it was so much fun to read about them and their misadventures. There was some serious mis-adventuring going on with these princesses, one became a swashbuckling pirate. So now before I ramble and fangirl about history more, let me finish up this review.

The writing was fun, witty, engaging but it was still factual and interesting, including what historians thought, their speculations on different things that can't be proven or disproven. And I know everyone isn't going to want to read a book about historical princesses doing things their families didn't approve of, but if that does sound like something you'd find good or amusing - then definitely check this book out, it was fantastic.

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