Sunday, October 5, 2014

Refreshing look at some of the most infamous royal marriages in history

Leslie Carroll has put together a wonderfully researched book about a dozen royal marriages that would have rocked todays scandal magazines. Throughout history, royals have been used as pawns to make advantageous marriages that would create economic and territorial alliances. Many of them like Margaret of Anjou and Henry VI, or Mary Tudor and Phillip of Spain are familiar stories. Others like Maria Carolina of Austria or the Medici Princesses are not as well known. However, all of the chapters are peppered with fascinating tidbits of information like the sumptuous clothing, to the over the top jewels, as well as the sexual and emotional relationships. Written with care to make it interesting, the breezy style makes for easy reading. This is an enjoyable book that manages to find old stories and refresh them with new insights and information. I particularly loved the chapter of Lady Jane Grey and the one on Louis XIII's marriage to Anne of Austria. Leslie Carroll breathes life into historical figures fleshing them into real people rather than the flat one dimensional characters we studied in school.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

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