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Sex with kings: 500 years of adultery, power, rivalry, and revenge

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Throughout the centuries, royal mistresses have been worshiped, feared, envied, and reviled. They set the fashions, encouraged the arts, and, in some cases, ruled nations. Eleanor Herman's Sex with Kings takes us into the throne rooms and bedrooms of Europe's most powerful monarchs. Alive with flamboyant characters, outrageous humor, and stirring poignancy, this glittering tale of passion and politics chronicles five hundred years of scintillating women and the kings who loved them.

Curiously, the main function of a royal mistress was not to provide the king with sex but with companionship. Forced to marry repulsive foreign princesses, kings sought solace with women of their own choice. And what women they were! From Madame de Pompadour, the famous mistress of Louis XV, who kept her position for nineteen years despite her frigidity, to modern-day Camilla Parker-Bowles, who usurped none other than the glamorous Diana, Princess of Wales.

The successful royal mistress made herself irreplaceable. She was ready to converse gaily with him when she was tired, make love until all hours when she was ill, and cater to his every whim. Wearing a mask of beaming delight over any and all discomforts, she was never to be exhausted, complaining, or grief-stricken.

True, financial rewards for services rendered were of royal proportions -- some royal mistresses earned up to $200 million in titles, pensions, jewels, and palaces. Some kings allowed their mistresses to exercise unlimited political power. But for all its grandeur, a royal court was a scorpion's nest of insatiable greed, unquenchable lust, and vicious ambition. Hundreds of beautiful women vied to unseat the royal mistress. Many would suffer the slings and arrows of negative public opinion, some met with tragic ends and were pensioned off to make room for younger women. But the royal mistress often had the last laugh, as she lived well and richly off the fruits of her "sins."

From the dawn of time, power has been a mighty aphrodisiac. With diaries, personal letters, and diplomatic dispatches, Eleanor Herman's trailblazing research reveals the dynamics of sex and power, rivalry and revenge, at the most brilliant courts of Europe. Wickedly witty and endlessly entertaining, Sex with Kings is a chapter of women's history that has remained unwritten -- until now.

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ISBN:
9780060585440
9780061751554
9780060585433
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Grouped Work ID c9fe5c49-29d2-ee6c-382a-24da223cd2da
Grouping Title sex with kings 500 years of adultery power rivalry and revenge
Grouping Author herman eleanor
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-10-19 22:42:41PM
Last Indexed 2019-10-18 23:45:48PM

Solr Details

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accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Herman, Eleanor, 1960-
author_display Herman, Eleanor
available_at_catalog Green Hills
Green Hills Kids
collection_catalog Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Green Hills - Adult Non-Fiction
display_description

Throughout the centuries, royal mistresses have been worshiped, feared, envied, and reviled. They set the fashions, encouraged the arts, and, in some cases, ruled nations. Eleanor Herman's Sex with Kings takes us into the throne rooms and bedrooms of Europe's most powerful monarchs. Alive with flamboyant characters, outrageous humor, and stirring poignancy, this glittering tale of passion and politics chronicles five hundred years of scintillating women and the kings who loved them.

Curiously, the main function of a royal mistress was not to provide the king with sex but with companionship. Forced to marry repulsive foreign princesses, kings sought solace with women of their own choice. And what women they were! From Madame de Pompadour, the famous mistress of Louis XV, who kept her position for nineteen years despite her frigidity, to modern-day Camilla Parker-Bowles, who usurped none other than the glamorous Diana, Princess of Wales.

The successful royal mistress made herself irreplaceable. She was ready to converse gaily with him when she was tired, make love until all hours when she was ill, and cater to his every whim. Wearing a mask of beaming delight over any and all discomforts, she was never to be exhausted, complaining, or grief-stricken.

True, financial rewards for services rendered were of royal proportions -- some royal mistresses earned up to $200 million in titles, pensions, jewels, and palaces. Some kings allowed their mistresses to exercise unlimited political power. But for all its grandeur, a royal court was a scorpion's nest of insatiable greed, unquenchable lust, and vicious ambition. Hundreds of beautiful women vied to unseat the royal mistress. Many would suffer the slings and arrows of negative public opinion, some met with tragic ends and were pensioned off to make room for younger women. But the royal mistress often had the last laugh, as she lived well and richly off the fruits of her "sins."

From the dawn of time, power has been a mighty aphrodisiac. With diaries, personal letters, and diplomatic dispatches, Eleanor Herman's trailblazing research reveals the dynamics of sex and power, rivalry and revenge, at the most brilliant courts of Europe. Wickedly witty and endlessly entertaining, Sex with Kings is a chapter of women's history that has remained unwritten -- until now.

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owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
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Green Hills Kids
primary_isbn 9780060585440
publishDate 2004
2009
record_details
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:CARL0000226550 Book Books 1st ed. English Morrow, c2004. xii, 287 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 24 cm.
overdrive:4757fb53-3922-422f-b913-956654c30b40 eBook eBook English HarperCollins 2009
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Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
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subject_facet Europe -- Court and courtiers -- History
Europe -- Kings and rulers -- Mistresses -- Biography
Europe -- Social life and customs
Favorites, Royal -- Europe -- Biography
Mistresses -- Europe -- Biography
Scandals -- Europe -- History
title_display Sex with kings : 500 years of adultery, power, rivalry, and revenge
title_full Sex with Kings 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge
Sex with kings : 500 years of adultery, power, rivalry, and revenge / Eleanor Herman
title_short Sex with kings :
title_sub 500 years of adultery, power, rivalry, and revenge
topic_facet Court and courtiers
Favorites, Royal
History
Kings and rulers
Mistresses
Nonfiction
Scandals
Social life and customs
Sociology
Women's Studies