Friday, September 26, 2014

HFVBT: Leslie Carroll's Inglorious Royal Marriage - Review and {Giveaway}

My thoughts
Did I really just read a non-fiction book!? That was my reaction upon finishing the terrific Inglorious Royal Marriages. In this book, we learn about the inner workings of royal marriages that were far from ideal situations. As these were most commonly arranged marriages, there was not much chance of a love match and so many of these marriages were in fact...inglorious.

Some of the marriages included in this well-researched and entertaining book are:
  • Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou
  • The three ill-fated marriages of Margaret Tudor (Henry VIII's sister) to James IV of Scotland, Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, and Henry Stewart, 1st Lord Methven
  • The marriages of Isabella Romola de Medici and Eleonora di Garzia di Toledo
  • Philippe of France, Duc d'Orleans' marriages to Henriette-Anne of England and Elisabeth Charlotte von der Pfalz, Princess Palatine
  • Princess Marie of Edinburgh and Ferdinand I of Roumania
  • and more!
I especially liked reading about the marriages that I knew little about. While I'm more familiar with the marriage of Mary Tudor and Philip II of Spain, I really had no idea about the marriages of the two Medici sisters or Maria Carolina of Austria. I learned a lot from this book and was highly entertained in the process. When reading these accounts of arranged marriages, we are reminded of what a privilege it truly is to marry who we want and for other reasons than advantageous political connections and marriage for the sake of producing heirs. The royals may have been privileged, but that privilege often came with a price. 

This is my first foray into the author's series of non-fiction royal dramas and it won't be my last. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in history and royalty.

Publication Date: September 2, 2014
NAL Trade
Formats: eBook, Paperback; 400p
Genre: History/Non-Fiction/Royalty

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Why does it seem that the marriages of so many monarchs are often made in hell? And yet we can’t stop reading about them! To satisfy your schadenfreude, INGLORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES offers a panoply of the most spectacular mismatches in five hundred years of royal history….some of which are mentioned below.

When her monkish husband, England’s Lancastrian Henry VI, became completely catatonic, the unpopular French-born Margaret of Anjou led his army against the troops of their enemy, the Duke of York.

Margaret Tudor, her niece Mary I, and Catherine of Braganza were desperately in love with chronically unfaithful husbands—but at least they weren’t murdered by them, as were two of the Medici princesses.

King Charles II’s beautiful, high-spirited sister “Minette” wed Louis XIV’s younger brother, who wore more makeup and perfume than she did.

Compelled by her mother to wed her boring, jug-eared cousin Ferdinand, Marie of Roumania—a granddaughter of Queen Victoria—emerged as a heroine of World War I by using her prodigious personal charm to regain massive amounts of land during the peace talks at Versailles. Marie’s younger sister Victoria Melita wed two of her first-cousins: both marriages ultimately scandalized the courts of Europe.

Brimming with outrageous real-life stories of royal marriages gone wrong, this is an entertaining, unforgettable book of dubious matches doomed from the start.

Praise for Leslie Carroll’s Royal Books
“An irresistible combination of People magazine and the History Channel.”—Chicago Tribune (5 Stars)

“Thoroughly enjoyable.”—Booklist

“For those who tackled Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, and can’t get enough of the scandal surrounding Henry VIII’s wives, [Notorious Royal Marriages is] the perfect companion book.”—

Buy the Book
Amazon US
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About the Author
Leslie Carroll is the author of several works of historical nonfiction, women’s fiction, and, under the pen names Juliet Grey and Amanda Elyot, is a multipublished author of historical fiction. Her nonfiction titles include Royal Romances, Royal Pains, Royal Affairs, and Notorious Royal Marriages. She is also a classically trained professional actress with numerous portrayals of virgins, vixens, and villainesses to her credit, and is an award-winning audio book narrator.

A frequent commentator on royal romances and relationships, Leslie has been interviewed by numerous publications, including, USA Today, the Australian Broadcasting Company, and NPR, and she was a featured royalty historian on CBS nightly news in London during the royal wedding coverage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. She also appears as an expert on the love lives of Queen Victoria, Marie Antoinette, Catherine the Great, and Napoleon on the television series “The Secret Life of [fill in the name of famous figure]” for Canada’s History Channel. Leslie and her husband, Scott, divide their time between New York City and Washington, D.C.

For more information please visit Leslie’s website. You can also connect with her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Visit other blogs on the tour--Tour Schedule
Twitter Hashtag: #IngloriousRoyalMarriagesBlogTour #History #Royalty #Monarchy #RoyalMarriages
Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @lcarrollauthor @penguinusa

Follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter form below to enter for a chance to win a paperback copy of Inglorious Royal Marriages! (Open to U.S. Only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.


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  1. I think I would love to learn more about Margaret Tudor and her marriages. Thanks Michelle!!

  2. Perhaps Princess Marie of Edinburgh and Ferdinand I of Romania because I know nothing about them.

  3. I'm interested in the marriage between Margaret (who became a saint) and Malcolm of Scotland. Are they included??

  4. Sounds like a good read!

  5. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Thanks for this great feature and giveaway.

  6. I would like to know more about Margaret Tudor. Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. I would like to read more about the marriages of Mary Tudor - Henry VIII's sister especially her life with Charles Brandon

  8. I'd like to learn about Henry the 8th and all his wives.

  9. I would like to learn more about Princess Marie of Edinburgh and Ferdinand 1 of Roumania. Thanks for having this giveaway.

  10. This is a book right up my ally. I will add it to my list!

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