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Behind the Palace Doors: Five Centuries of…

Behind the Palace Doors: Five Centuries of Sex, Adventure, Vice,… (vuoden 2011 painos)

– tekijä: Michael Farquhar

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
1554140,023 (3.18)-
Offers a secret history of the scandals, scheming, and intrigue surrounding the British royal family, from Henry VIII and his six wives to Queen Elizabeth II and the other members of the House of Windsor of the twenty-first century.
Teoksen nimi:Behind the Palace Doors: Five Centuries of Sex, Adventure, Vice, Treachery, and Folly from Royal Britain
Kirjailijat:Michael Farquhar
Info:Random House Trade Paperbacks (2011), Paperback, 320 pages
Kokoelmat:Storage/Box 1
Arvio (tähdet):

Teoksen tarkat tiedot

Behind the Palace Doors: Five Centuries of Sex, Adventure, Vice, Treachery, and Folly from Royal Britain (tekijä: Michael Farquhar)


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näyttää 4/4
Absolutely riveting, funny, interesting, well researched, an easy enjoyable read.
Truth is truly far stranger than anything the most dramatic author could think of. ( )
  LoisSusan | Dec 10, 2020 |
This is a nice survey of British royals one that can be used as an introduction for those new to the subject matter. The author does a good job describing the social and political climate for each royal and doesn't get bogged down in the finer details of their reign. ( )
  sunwords | Mar 21, 2020 |
Behind the Palace Doors: Five Centuries of Sex, Adventure, Vice, Treachery, and Folly from Royal Britain
Author: Michael Farquhar
Publisher: Random House
Publishing Date: 2011
Pgs: 307
Dewey: 941.0099 FAR
Disposition: Interlibrary Loan via San Antonio PUblic Library, San Antonio, TX
: Hoopla Audiobook

500 years of royalty. Scandal. Faithlessness. Ambition. Incest. Sacrifice. Execution. History in it’s unvarnished, ugliness, and glory. From the Tudors to the Windsors.
Great Britain

Why this book:
I’m on a palace intrigue kick lately.
Least Favorite Character:
So...8-year old Edward VI telling his stepmother that his sister, 20 years his senior, shouldn’t attend dances. The text refers to him as a prig. I would use another term also starting with p and rhyming with rick.

The Georges(I, II, and III).

Favorite Scene / Quote/Concept:
James II had a penchant for “ugly” mistresses. One so called “” mistress, Catherine Sedley said, “It cannot be my beauty for he must see that I have none. And it cannot be my wit, for he has not enough to know that I have any.”

Hmm Moments:
Lord Admiral Thomas Seymour, uncle of Charles VI, brother of the Duke of Somerset, brother of one of King Henry VIII’s wives, Jane Seymour, could have survived his perfides...if he hadn’t shot the boy King’s dog.

George II was anal and overly regimented. He effectively scheduled his entire life.

George V of England, Nicholas II of Russia, and Wilhelm II of Germany: we're all cousins. So a big piece world war 1 was a family feud. Though they didn’t trigger it, they all certainly had a piece in it’s propagation.

The crown within Bonnie Prince Charlie’s reach and he was done in by the promise of French reinforcements. The clan leaders forced him back when victory was, if not in reach, was definitely in play. And then, the French backed out. His retreat to retrench gave the Hannoverian forces heart and time to mount a comeback. The Bonnie Prince Charlie revolt snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

So the Danes played chicken with King George III as he girded for war over his sister. Divorced fine, but he didn’t want her killed. Her lover who threw her under the bus died a barbaric deather: he was beheaded, had his hand struck off, and his head put on a pole. The danes went big on royal executions. They created a lifetime enemy in Caroline Mathilda, a vengeful enemy with the Blood Royal. Before she succumbed to Scarlet Fever...or was she poisoned to keep her from rising up against the cabal that drover her and her lover from power in Denmark? Her son, Frederick VII of Denmark removed the plotters when he took the reins of power. And Caroline’s daughter married her cousin King Christian VIII, the grandson of the Dowager Queen, Christian VII’s mother, who overthrew Caroline and her lover in the first place.

WTF Moments:
Mary, Queen of Scots, husband Francis II of France died of an ear infection that abscessed into his brain… … ...what?

William III and Mary II of Orange were manipulated into the invasion and overthrow of her father James II. They did it. But didn’t seem to want to do it. Though if they had left it to Anne and whatever machinations she got up to England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland would have suffered more, I fear.

Victoria expected things from Edward but blaming him for Albert's death, even though Albert died of typhoid, because he had a shocking affair with a woman not approved. She held him at arm's length, didn't train him, didn't show him the ropes, and then got mad when she left him to his own devices and he used those devices. Favoring the other children, Leopold, et al, who weren't going to be king drove a further wedge between mother and son.

Meh / PFFT Moments:
And the rise of Cromwell. Reading about Cromwell in America’s current political climate is apropos.

James II bending his knee to a Papal Nuncio reinforced fears that he intended to destroy the Anglican Church and return Catholicism to English life.

The Sigh:
Arbella was either driven mad by her confinement or was always so.

The Opera War between George II and his son Frederick was stupid. But par for the course. Frederick ended up predeceasing his father leading the crown to fall to his son, George III.

I just don’t understand the Hannoverians...all these royals really. They created opposition through their treatment of their heirs.

Well...Bloody Mary was a Holy Terror. Sometimes a name does fit.

Of course, the problems with Edward VI and Bloody Mary were all Henry VIII’s fault. That kind of example, leadership, and parenting, the results weren’t going to be good.

Charles II’s cavorting with mistresses openly would have caused Cromwell’s head to explode if it had not already been separated from his body. Though Cromwell was dug up, chained, and beheaded posthumously.

Anne, daughter of James II and provocateur, was horrible to her half brother James Francis Edward Stuart. She continually called into question his legitimacy. This lead through the consequence of her actions to the Jacobite succession in exile and all the troubles that came with it.

The whole balance of James II’s life was plot and counterplot after having lost his crown to William and Mary, his daughter, of Orange. Funny that Mary II lamented so much after overthrowing her father. She double standarded her father’s behavior, along with her sister Anne, rather than her, her husband’s, and her sister’s.

Mary II and Anne were opposed significantly as their life travels brought them closer and closer to the seat of royal power.

While William III was away fighting James II in France, Mary faced plots by Jacobite loyalists, republicans, and at least one which gathered around Anne.

The Unexpected:
James II bad efforts to regain the crown, falling and failing. This lead the Irish to refer to him as James the Shit. Wow! ...just wow.

The Georges(I, II, and III) all hated each other. Though the lecherous bastards did all share a mistress. Must’ve been one hell of a woman. The Georges were all pricks.

All the first cousin inbreeding, it’s surprising that there weren’t more dolts, nuts, and invalids on the thrones of Europe.

Christian VII of Denmark married George III’s sister Caroline. But what Christian was into was prostitutes, masturbating excessively, breaking things, and being tied to a chair and whipped. He hated being King. Wow...just wow.

I never knew that the Provisional Russian Government before Soviet takeover had offered the English to take the Romanovs into exile. And that George V said no, effectively cutting off his cousin’s only hope of escape. George was playing politics at the time, changing the name of the family from Saxe-Coburg to Windsor to more closely tie the family to England as the German wing of the family girded for war. George V snubbed his cousin, leaving he and his family to die at the hands of the Soviets.

So...Edward VIII was a submissive in the sexual sense of the word. With all the whoring, mistress taking, illegitimate children, and cousin loving going on, I wonder if this would have caused condescension or not if it were widely known back then. Course, Edward did his share of those things as well...well the whoring and mistress taking anyway.
Last Page Sound:
These families are messed up.

Questions I’m Left With:
Was Henry VIII complicit in the death of his brother Arthur?

Were all these people really this horrible or were they just people, cripplingly inbred, but still people.

Conclusions I’ve Drawn:
Audiobooks...I read faster than most narrators.

Author Assessment:
Well done.
_________________________________________________ ( )
  texascheeseman | Jan 23, 2020 |
The two other Farquhar books I've read (Treasury of Royal Scandals & Treasury of Deception) were more interesting than this. Though the British royals are all crazy in some way, the writing was drier. Farquhar made snarky and sarcastic remarks when writing the stories in the other books and there is plenty of room for those comments when discussing the British royalty, but for some reason he doesn't do that here which made this book a bit boring. Luckily, there are enough nutcases who became rulers to add value to the book. ( )
  Sareene | Oct 22, 2016 |
näyttää 4/4
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Offers a secret history of the scandals, scheming, and intrigue surrounding the British royal family, from Henry VIII and his six wives to Queen Elizabeth II and the other members of the House of Windsor of the twenty-first century.

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