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The royal art of poison: Filthy Palaces, Fatal Cosmetics, Deadly Medicine, and Murder Most Foul

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One of Washington Independent Review of Books' 50 Favorite Books of 2018 * A Buzzfeed Best Book of 2018 "Morbidly witty." --Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times "You'll be as appalled at times as you are entertained." -- Bustle , one of The 17 Best Nonfiction Books Coming Out In June 2018 "A heady mix of erudite history and delicious gossip." --Aja Raden, author of Stoned In the Washington Post roundup, "What your favorite authors are reading this summer," A.J. Finn says, "I want to read The Royal Art of Poison , Eleanor Herman's history of poisons." Hugely entertaining, a work of pop history that traces the use of poison as a political--and cosmetic--tool in the royal courts of Western Europe from the Middle Ages to the Kremlin today

The story of poison is the story of power. For centuries, royal families have feared the gut-roiling, vomit-inducing agony of a little something added to their food or wine by an enemy. To avoid poison, they depended on tasters, unicorn horns, and antidotes tested on condemned prisoners. Servants licked the royal family's spoons, tried on their underpants and tested their chamber pots.

Ironically, royals terrified of poison were unknowingly poisoning themselves daily with their cosmetics, medications, and filthy living conditions. Women wore makeup made with mercury and lead. Men rubbed turds on their bald spots. Physicians prescribed mercury enemas, arsenic skin cream, drinks of lead filings, and potions of human fat and skull, fresh from the executioner. The most gorgeous palaces were little better than filthy latrines. Gazing at gorgeous portraits of centuries past, wedon't see what lies beneath the royal robes and the stench of unwashed bodies; the lice feasting on private parts; and worms nesting in the intestines.

In The Royal Art of Poison , Eleanor Herman combines her unique access to royal archives with cutting-edge forensic discoveries to tell the true story of Europe's glittering palaces: one of medical bafflement, poisonous cosmetics, ever-present excrement, festering natural illness, and, sometimes, murder.

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9781250140869
9781974922703
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID be76ef9b-4fbe-6013-4476-5f13fca5922f
Grouping Title royal art of poison filthy palaces fatal cosmetics deadly medicine and murder most foul
Grouping Author herman eleanor
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-12-12 22:43:51PM
Last Indexed 2019-12-12 03:13:23AM

Solr Details

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display_description

The story of poison is the story of power. For centuries, royal families have feared the gut-roiling, vomit-inducing agony of a little something added to their food or wine by an enemy. To avoid poison, they depended on tasters, unicorn horns, and antidotes tested on condemned prisoners. Servants licked the royal family's spoons, tried on their underpants, and tested their chamber pots. Ironically, royals terrified of poison were unknowingly poisoning themselves daily with their cosmetics, medications, and filthy living conditions. Women wore makeup made with mercury and lead. Men rubbed turds on their bald spots. Physicians prescribed mercury enemas, arsenic skin cream, drinks of lead filings, and potions of human fat and skull, fresh from the executioner. The most gorgeous palaces were little better than filthy latrines. Gazing at gorgeous portraits of centuries past, we don't see what lies beneath the royal robes.

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ils:CARL0000725263 Book Books First Edition. English St. Martin's Press, [2018] xiii, 286 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm
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subject_facet Murder victims -- Europe -- Biography
Poisoning -- Europe -- Biography
Poisoning -- Europe -- History
title_display The royal art of poison : filthy palaces, fatal cosmetics, deadly medicine, and murder most foul
title_full The Royal Art of Poison Filthy Palaces, Fatal Cosmetics, Deadly Medicine, and Murder Most Foul
The royal art of poison : filthy palaces, fatal cosmetics, deadly medicine, and murder most foul / Eleanor Herman
title_short The royal art of poison :
title_sub Filthy Palaces, Fatal Cosmetics, Deadly Medicine, and Murder Most Foul
topic_facet Biography & Autobiography
History
Medical
Murder victims
Nonfiction
Poisoning