Princesses Behaving Badly
by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
Publisher: Quirk Books
Page Count: 303
Release Date: November 19, 2013
How got: personal library; received as gift from family member
First attention getter: subject matter
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.
Star Rating - 4
I’m always down for learning more on obscure female historical figures, and this book hit the spot. It kept a great balance of readability and factual information. I don’t think I’d go straight to this book for a college paper or anything. As a casual, easy read for a history buff, though, it’s great.
I loved the wide range of people this book covered. From the truly obscure Asian princesses’ to their more commonly known European counterparts, the author gives a window into a wide range of personages who could claim the title of “princess”.
The author keeps the format very readable for the non-history major, teacher, or professor. For lovers of history who just want to learn stuff, this is a great choice. She writes in a way that feels like she’s right in the room with the reader, just relaying the tale over a campfire or cup of coffee. I loved that format.
So while not a good source for that dissertation or college final, this is a great read for the casual lover of history. The reader learns a ton and enjoys the journey as well. Definitely recommended!