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You think you know her story. You've read the Brothers Grimm, you've watched the Disney cartoons, and you cheered as these virtuous women lived happily ever after. But real princesses didn't always get happy endings. Sure, plenty 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 roy You think you know her story. You've read the Brothers Grimm, you've watched the Disney cartoons, and you cheered as these virtuous women lived happily ever after. But real princesses didn't always get happy endings. Sure, plenty 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 Elisabeth of the Austro-Hungarian empire slept wearing a mask of raw veal. Princess Olga of Kiev slaughtered her way to sainthood while Princess Lakshmibai waged war on the battlefield, charging into combat with her toddler son strapped to her back. Princesses Behaving Badly offers true tales of all these princesses and dozens more in a fascinating read that's perfect for history buffs, feminists, and anyone seeking a different kind of bedtime story.


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You think you know her story. You've read the Brothers Grimm, you've watched the Disney cartoons, and you cheered as these virtuous women lived happily ever after. But real princesses didn't always get happy endings. Sure, plenty 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 roy You think you know her story. You've read the Brothers Grimm, you've watched the Disney cartoons, and you cheered as these virtuous women lived happily ever after. But real princesses didn't always get happy endings. Sure, plenty 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 Elisabeth of the Austro-Hungarian empire slept wearing a mask of raw veal. Princess Olga of Kiev slaughtered her way to sainthood while Princess Lakshmibai waged war on the battlefield, charging into combat with her toddler son strapped to her back. Princesses Behaving Badly offers true tales of all these princesses and dozens more in a fascinating read that's perfect for history buffs, feminists, and anyone seeking a different kind of bedtime story.

30 review for Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History—Without the Fairy-Tale Endings

  1. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    Nevertheless, here are the stories of real princesses and real women. We all know the stories of Ariel, Belle, Cinderella and Snow White...but their fluffy stories aren't nearly close to the truth. What about the Warrior princesses? The Usurpers? The Schemers and the Survivors? What about their stories? Glad you asked. If you have ever been curious about what princesses do when they aren't batting their eyelashes or fluttering their hands, you have come to the right place. Learn about Nevertheless, here are the stories of real princesses and real women. We all know the stories of Ariel, Belle, Cinderella and Snow White...but their fluffy stories aren't nearly close to the truth. What about the Warrior princesses? The Usurpers? The Schemers and the Survivors? What about their stories? Glad you asked. If you have ever been curious about what princesses do when they aren't batting their eyelashes or fluttering their hands, you have come to the right place. Learn about real-life pirate princesses, mafia princesses, prisoners, punks and rebels of all types. They may begin once upon a time, but they don't always end happily ever after. This was a rather fun book! I really enjoyed about all of the wild and wondrous princesses out there in the world - and not one of them pulled a sleeping beauty - each princess wanted something out of life and did her best to get it. It was so much fun to learn about the warriors queens and the strong women of the past (some of which were princessing in the 2000s!). The only issue I had was that this book covered a lot (and I mean a lot) of princesses. Towards the end, there was just too many characters and too many scenes and timelines - I started to get lost and some of them were blurring into each others. Overall - this was an extremely enjoyable book (just a bit muddly at the end). YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sasha Strader

    An interesting premise, but not really all that well executed. First, and most tellingly, a few of the "real" stories are based on mythology or folklore with absolutely no proof of their existence and say as much. Why create a book of real stories and go down that path? It especially irked me in the case of "The Princess who was a Pirate" since it was just mentioned casually towards the end of the story that her existence was only in the tall tales of the area. Secondly, the gossip rag style of w An interesting premise, but not really all that well executed. First, and most tellingly, a few of the "real" stories are based on mythology or folklore with absolutely no proof of their existence and say as much. Why create a book of real stories and go down that path? It especially irked me in the case of "The Princess who was a Pirate" since it was just mentioned casually towards the end of the story that her existence was only in the tall tales of the area. Secondly, the gossip rag style of writing left me with a sour taste in my mouth. (most of) These women were real and were fighting real battles with enemies, themselves, or society. I could wish the author had been a little more understanding and explanatory of the circumstances surrounding their actions. The only slight exception to this seemed to be Juana de Castille (aka, Juana the Mad) who the author explained may have been portrayed as mad by her husband and father to rend her politically powerless. Finally, and mostly irrelevantly, I received an ARC copy and WOW I hope the proofreaders and editors get hold of this and shake it down before it goes public. I've never had such a hard time reading through a book before, but this one had so many grammar, spelling, and continuity errors I felt like I was grading a remedial paper.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    Where I got the book: ARC from LibraryThing Early Reviewer Program. A book club read. First of all, this is not a "serious" history book. I gather some readers have had problems with the lack of academic gravitas so if you're looking for stories of princesses with copious endnotes, stop right now and proceed to a university library. My copy is an advance reading copy so I can't tell you about the selected bibliography or the index, but from reading the book I imagine they're not that extensive. So Where I got the book: ARC from LibraryThing Early Reviewer Program. A book club read. First of all, this is not a "serious" history book. I gather some readers have had problems with the lack of academic gravitas so if you're looking for stories of princesses with copious endnotes, stop right now and proceed to a university library. My copy is an advance reading copy so I can't tell you about the selected bibliography or the index, but from reading the book I imagine they're not that extensive. So what we have here is a light, fluffy, amuse-gueule of a read, covering examples of royal hellcats from ancient history to the present, but--weirdly--leaving out Princess Diana (yet including Princess Margaret, so it can't be because the author's afraid of being sued by the Royal Family.) It's clearly meant as the kind of book you dip into, leave in your bathroom (don't tell me you don't) or keep on your nightstand to cleanse your mind after a day at the office. It's the kind of book you give as a gift to your cousin who likes reading historical stuff but you've really no idea what her specific area of interest is. And does it do a good job within the confines of its own limitations? I think so. McRobbie divides the text into sections: Warriors, Usurpers, Schemers, etc., rounding up a handful of examples for each part and recounting their stories in a breezy, sometimes snarky, style--think the feature pages of the Sunday newspaper and you've pretty much got the tone right. I'm not a big fan of compendium works like this on the whole, but the more I read, the more I enjoyed it. I particularly relish the mad and bad 18th and 19th century princesses--nothing like inbreeding, a miserable childhood and the over-the-top excesses of an 18th century court to bring out the worst in a woman. McRobbie stretches the definition of "princess" a bit, so serious students of history might disagree with some of her choices. But in case you weren't paying attention to the first paragraph, SERIOUS STUDENTS OF HISTORY SHOULD NOT READ THIS YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. I can tell you who SHOULD read this: novelists looking for a good story. I'm keeping this one on my shelf for story ideas because truth (or the gossips' version of truth) really is stranger than fiction.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I received this book for free from the publisher (Quirk Books). I give this book 4.5 stars which rounds up to 5. This was such a fascinating read. It contains mini-biographies of different real life royals (princesses, empresses, sultanas etc.) from around the globe, and throughout history. Some of the princesses are well heard of, but most are relatively unknown. I really liked how the book showed how complex and flawed these women were. They’re not necessarily depicted as being “good” or “bad” I received this book for free from the publisher (Quirk Books). I give this book 4.5 stars which rounds up to 5. This was such a fascinating read. It contains mini-biographies of different real life royals (princesses, empresses, sultanas etc.) from around the globe, and throughout history. Some of the princesses are well heard of, but most are relatively unknown. I really liked how the book showed how complex and flawed these women were. They’re not necessarily depicted as being “good” or “bad”, just human. The context of their worlds were also given, which helped you understand their actions better. It also showed how being a princess was not as glamorous as one may think. Another thing I liked was how the book tried to separate fact from fiction. Historiography is complicated, especially when it comes to telling women’s stories. Women are vilified so much more easily and quickly than men. I appreciated how the author explained what was probably true and what was a myth. However, the one thing that I didn’t agree with was the author’s view on Disney princesses (it was a negative one). It was only briefly mentioned in the introduction so it wasn’t a huge deal to me. The biographies themselves were all very entertaining. The most interesting aspects of their lives were highlighted. Overall, this is a fun read for princess lovers.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    My review is based on two things: 1.) Based on listening to the audio version 2.) The introduction by the author asserted that she wanted to debunk the Disney princess idealism by sharing real stories of real princesses. The structure of the book was disjointed and contradictory. The author grouped these "princesses" (the term is used loosely as she also featured queens, empresses, and American rich girls) into various categories - "warriors," "floozies," "partiers," "etc." Some of the women fell My review is based on two things: 1.) Based on listening to the audio version 2.) The introduction by the author asserted that she wanted to debunk the Disney princess idealism by sharing real stories of real princesses. The structure of the book was disjointed and contradictory. The author grouped these "princesses" (the term is used loosely as she also featured queens, empresses, and American rich girls) into various categories - "warriors," "floozies," "partiers," "etc." Some of the women fell into multiple categories - some fell into none. I think it would have been better to group them into princess fairy tale stereotypes such as "Women Who Escaped Prince Charming," or "Women Who Didn't Need Saving," or even "Women Who Bought Their Own Glass Slipper." The sub headers and the myths inserted before the "actual" stories was also confusing. Sometimes I would become enraptured by a story only to have the author jump in and say, "Now here's what really happened..." It felt lazy to just read the text verbatim. If a section of a book is defined by a font type - it should be adjusted for an audio book audience. Moving away from the structure, I thought it was hypocritical of the author to initially criticize Disney, news outlets, etc. for creating "narcissistic" children who idolize unrealistic princesses. In every description of the real women, McRobbie made a comment on their physical appearance. If the focus was truly on the women's deeds...why do we need to know what she looked like? Furthermore, if the driving force of this book is true stories - how do you really know what some of these Viking and ancient Chinese "princesses" looked like? Ultimately, I think McRobbie set an expectation that she couldn't fulfill. While the premise of the book was good, it's a lofty goal to change public perception of princess...particularly when you're trying to counter opinions with a poorly executed book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Huston

    Sadly, I picked this one up to see if I could fight off a case of insomnia. That didn't happen. This rather short, nonfiction book is a slight, very fluffy accounting of princesses who didn't have a chance of happiness. Each one gets a page or two, a woodcut-looking illustration if they were lucky, and the author dishing up plenty of snark and snide as a bonus. Many of these ladies I had heard of, a few I knew fairly well, and quite a few were those on the fringes. The ones who claimed to be pri Sadly, I picked this one up to see if I could fight off a case of insomnia. That didn't happen. This rather short, nonfiction book is a slight, very fluffy accounting of princesses who didn't have a chance of happiness. Each one gets a page or two, a woodcut-looking illustration if they were lucky, and the author dishing up plenty of snark and snide as a bonus. Many of these ladies I had heard of, a few I knew fairly well, and quite a few were those on the fringes. The ones who claimed to be princesses and weren't, or various imposters -- most famously, Anna Anderson aka Anastasia -- give the most interesting stories. A few of the stories are just barely in the running as princess fodder. I was very surprised that there were quite a few omissions, most notably, the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Now for the bad news: the research here is slight at best. The author only gives one or two sources for each lady in this tale, and most of them rate as popular histories at best. Which is a shame. This could have been done so much better and much more interestingly if the author had only bothered to take the time and effort. But I guess she was trying to cash in on the Princess craze. Just two stars and a not recommended. For the longer review, please go here: http://www.epinions.com/review/prince...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    My favorite kind of history book: the interesting bits, presented in handy bite-sized portions. This book is full of short (most around 4 pages) biographies of notable princesses from the 4th century to the 21st. Some of them were horrible, some insane. And some were warriors, some were saints in life and have become literal saints in death. Some were total fakers, too, like Princess Caraboo. (Side note: I love the movie with Phoebe Cates, and just found out a year ago that it was based on a tru My favorite kind of history book: the interesting bits, presented in handy bite-sized portions. This book is full of short (most around 4 pages) biographies of notable princesses from the 4th century to the 21st. Some of them were horrible, some insane. And some were warriors, some were saints in life and have become literal saints in death. Some were total fakers, too, like Princess Caraboo. (Side note: I love the movie with Phoebe Cates, and just found out a year ago that it was based on a true story. The real story is far less magical but EVEN MORE fascinating!) It reminds me of the Uppity Women books, but this book was clearly better researched, and has a great bibliography at the back. Two thumbs way up!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alice

    I won a copy of this book through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. While Goodreads does ask for a review in exchange for the advance reader copy, I was in no way compensated for my review. This is a collection of stories about real-life princesses throughout history who made their marks, in one way or another. Several make power grabs, while others are known for being the true power behind the throne, or for their madness. There are some warriors, all from non-European backgrounds. Many of the s I won a copy of this book through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. While Goodreads does ask for a review in exchange for the advance reader copy, I was in no way compensated for my review. This is a collection of stories about real-life princesses throughout history who made their marks, in one way or another. Several make power grabs, while others are known for being the true power behind the throne, or for their madness. There are some warriors, all from non-European backgrounds. Many of the stories are about princesses in the last century or so, known for a certain wildness. The book's strength is that it covers a lot of different cultures. There are princesses from every continent but Australia and South America. It could've stuck to just European royalty, but the variety fills in a lot of gaps of my own knowledge of history. Two North American princesses are discussed, in very different terms due to their very different approaches to the white conquerors. While this does go a long way toward showing us where the women were in history, it's not without its faults. The book uses "gypsy" to describe people of Romani heritage, and doesn't question the stereotyped views thereof. It also takes a modern approach to beauty, scoffing at descriptions of plump princesses as attractive and describing all of the European princesses in terms of their looks. The Asian, African, and Native American, apparently, weren't worth considering. Last, it often presents the mythologized stories of these royals for several paragraphs before cutting in to say that's not true, that this is how it really happened. This book was a decent way to make history interesting and relevant to me. It adds on to my high school courses about dead white guys. But, as a primary resource, it's lacking. I think it's a good jumping-off point for discovering about different people and cultures, but it's not detailed enough. It is a fun read, though the last third felt rather repetitive. I would recommend this book to middle school and high school students who are bored to tears of their history courses, and want to hear about something other than dates and battles and borders. Budding feminists may also be pleased with the new ammunition about how women have been erased from history.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lea

    This book has an interesting title and an interesting premise. Unfortunately, the writing is atrocious. I'm confused as to the actual target audience the author was trying to reach here. In the introduction, she talks about how Disney is evil and poisoning the minds of our youth by making girls want to be like the Disney princesses (don't even get me started on this bullshit - she must have missed how Disney princesses are brave, kind, generous, hard-working, etc). Her purpose seems to be, then, This book has an interesting title and an interesting premise. Unfortunately, the writing is atrocious. I'm confused as to the actual target audience the author was trying to reach here. In the introduction, she talks about how Disney is evil and poisoning the minds of our youth by making girls want to be like the Disney princesses (don't even get me started on this bullshit - she must have missed how Disney princesses are brave, kind, generous, hard-working, etc). Her purpose seems to be, then, to write the ultimate childhood-ruiner bedtime story book: "See, Becky, THIS is what REAL princesses were like!! No happy endings HERE!! Just like LIFE!!". Her TONE, condescending af, trying to incorporate outdated slang, and weirdly reminiscent of TMZ, is the embodiment of this gif: But no parent in their right mind would give this book to a child - it's full of incest, murder, torture and other "adult" themes. So you end up with a book written as IF to a child (except even children would roll their eyes at her try-hard writing) but which can only be read by adults. And another thing: the tagline from this book is "REAL stories from HISTORY". Its whole thing is to talk about the lives of real princesses. And yet??? The proportion of REAL princesses from HISTORY here is incredibly small. The author includes stories that only exist in mythology and folklore, women who were never princesses and many who weren't even nobility. Gotta fill these pages somehow, amirite?? I want to read this book again, when it's written by a better author and has a better selection.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Marina

    Among the numerous collections of this kind sprouting up lately, this one caught my eye first because it was about princesses, and second because it promised the truth behind these women’s stories. It did turn out to be a collection of numerous stories about the real princesses and their, sometimes, gruesome and difficult lives, but the line between fact and fiction is very blurry here. The author often cites sources, both reliable and not, but more than often she tries to weave fictional storie Among the numerous collections of this kind sprouting up lately, this one caught my eye first because it was about princesses, and second because it promised the truth behind these women’s stories. It did turn out to be a collection of numerous stories about the real princesses and their, sometimes, gruesome and difficult lives, but the line between fact and fiction is very blurry here. The author often cites sources, both reliable and not, but more than often she tries to weave fictional stories around these women’s lives, with no evidence to support her claims. It seems that the author couldn’t decide whether she was writing fiction or nonfiction. I expected the latter, since the book is marketed as such, so it’s no wonder I was annoyed at McRobbie’s constant interference with unsupported facts, bad jokes and overly colloquial terms. “She also didn’t take any crap – she once beat her half brother Mbandi bloody after he stole her beaded necklace…” -I was kind of expecting a ‘woman need no man’ kind of line to show up. Okay, I don’t really mind the crap, but this is just one of many examples where the author: 1. Doesn’t write consistently with the rest of the book, and 2. Seems to push a female empowerment of the totally wrong kind on her readers. In multiple stories I stumbled on similar lines, where a princess in question is doing unimaginable, disgusting things, and she is praised by the author. Is that what feminism is? Were these stories about men, and many men of that kind did exist throughout history and they still do, would we praise them or condemn them? “It’s unlikely that she was ever initiated formally into the tribe, a gruesome ritual that involved the murder of a child.” –This is the author’s note on the same woman from the previous quote, concerning an initiation to Imbangala, a vicious band of mercenaries, concluding that this woman wouldn’t be involved into a murder of a child simply because she was a woman, when that same lady killed her 8 yo nephew on the previous page. I’m digressing here, since it’s clear from the introduction that McRobbie’s main goal is to crush the princess myth; the fact that Disney Company glorified that title and turned it into something it almost never was, something little girls today look up to. Throughout the history, being a princess was rarely a lovely, beautiful thing, and the author successfully proved that point. It’s just that she did a very poor job of conveying it, and I cannot ignore that. There are too many stories here to check the validity of each one, but the ones I did check were only half true. Some details are obviously added to interest or shock the reader, even some subtitles have a form of click-bait, trying to make the story more interesting, and when you do read it you will realize that the title was either exaggerated or false. She also states multiple times that what you’ll read is probably not true, because the patriarchal historians weren’t too keen on female rulers, but what about the facts she added herself, without any kind of indication? What is true here and what is not is on the reader to decide. “That Edward (II) had a lover wasn’t shocking, nor was it a big problem that his lover was a man.” -Ummm yes it was. Homosexuality used to be called sodomy, and it was condemned by the church, which equated it with heresy, even I know that much. Throughout this collection, McRobbie tries to be funny, and she failed in that area too. Maybe it’s just the type of humor I don’t like, but it certainly feels unnecessary and simple. “T-III, now in his mid-twenties, was more than ready to rock.” -The person here referred to as T-III is Tuthmosis III, how is this even funny? On the brighter side, I actually did like this collection, as I would have liked an online article on the subject: “30 fierce and dangerous princesses that kicked ass, read all about it!!!!”, which I would have forgotten the very next day. If it was written better, I would immensely enjoy it and buy it, but as it is I’ll just thank Netgalley for the advanced copy of the new and illustrated edition. The main thing I liked was that it provided a peak into these women’s lives, collected in one place, and that some of my favorite women from history were mentioned, like Hatshepsut, Boudicca, Lucrezia Borgia, Queen Tomyris, Erzsébet Báthory, etc. I’ve also heard of some of these princesses for the first time, which will certainly lead me to more research and some better books on the subject, like I hope the Bygone Badass Broads by Mackenzi Lee is. My favorite new discoveries are: Catherine Radziwill, the stalker princess; Sarah Winnemucca, whose autobiography was the first memoir written by a Native American woman; Caraboo, the fake princess who fooled the whole England; Gloria von Thurn und Taxis, still very much alive, who turned a personal tragedy and crisis over its head; etc. There are 30+ princesses (or not) in this collection who deserve being mentioned and read about, but hopefully next time in a book that’s written better. So if you like interesting (I will not say powerful as it is not true for all of them) women from history, and if you don’t mind the gossip-column style and unsavory jokes, I think this collection could be an interesting and quick read. A thank-you to Netgalley for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. The review is also available on my blog Books of Magic

  11. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    We've all heard the tales of famous princesses (and queens); Marie-Antoinette, Elizabeth I, Cleopatra. But there are some princesses that are completely overlooked in the modern history books, forever to be obscure. Until now. In this collection, the author takes a look at some of the more colorful princesses and queens of the world. Divided into seven sections based on personality traits and actions, it gives a brief glimpse into the crazy shenanigans some of these women involved themselves in. We've all heard the tales of famous princesses (and queens); Marie-Antoinette, Elizabeth I, Cleopatra. But there are some princesses that are completely overlooked in the modern history books, forever to be obscure. Until now. In this collection, the author takes a look at some of the more colorful princesses and queens of the world. Divided into seven sections based on personality traits and actions, it gives a brief glimpse into the crazy shenanigans some of these women involved themselves in. The one quibble I had with the book? The introduction. My God, some of these psychological studies take themselves too darn seriously. I grew up watching Disney Princess movies, and I turned out FINE. >:( Enough of that, let's get on with it!! The Kick-Ass Princesses Aka, the princesses you don't dare mess with for fear of getting the shit kicked out of you. Whether it be by cobras and vipers who are trained to bite you in your most, ahem, sensitive areas (Princess Alfhild), fight in battle with a baby strapped to her back and still keeps fighting with an arrow stuck in her eye (Lakshmibai), or refuse to marry unless a handsome prince... manages to beat her in a wrestling match (Khutulan), these princesses are NOT to be messed with under any circumstances. The I-Am-Woman, Hear-Me-Roar Princesses Men? Who needs men? They have no idea what the hell they're doing in the first place, and most of our disastrous historical events have been caused by men in the first place. At least, this is the philosophy these women go by. Who cares if there's already a man on the throne? You can become a ruler anyways (Hatshepsut of Egypt). In fact, why not take it a step further and become the only woman ruler in your country? (Wu Zetain, the only female emperor of China). It's a woman's world out there, and they're just living it. The Scheming-Ass Princesses If you want something, go for it. And if anything stands in your way, get rid of the obstacle. This is the philosophy that these royals lived by. It doesn't matter where you come from life, there's always the hope that with enough wit, intelligence, scheming and maybe a murder or two, your chances of being royalty are substantially increased. Roxolana didn't let the fact that she was a sex slave stop her from weaseling her way into the sultan's favor and becoming his queen. Unfortunately for some, these grand exploits to further their standing can go horribly wrong. Like Justa Grata Honoria, who, in her attempt to gain favor with Attila the Hun, paved way for the barbarian invasions to the Roman Empire. Just goes to show that women are dangerous. And men need to get their shit together. The I-Have-No-Idea- What-I'm Doing Princesses Just because you're a princesses doesn't necessarily mean you're the brightest crayon in the package. Marrying wrong can have its serious disadvantages (Lucrezia Borgia). Consorting with the enemy doesn't help your cause either (Sofka Dolgorouky). You just have to hope that your stupid decisions will pay off in the end (Sarah Winnemucca). Otherwise, you're just another muddied name in the history book (Malinche). The I-Do-What-I Want Princesses These princesses just don't give a damn about anything. It doesn't matter if they're cross-dressing (Christina of Sweden), hoodwinking an entire nation into thinking you're a real, true princesses (Caraboo), or dying your hair pink and going the punk rock route (Gloria von Thurn und Taxis), they do what they want whether anyone likes it or not. Because hey, they're royalty. The Sexy-Time Princesses Here's the thing people; if a prince happens to get with a lot of women, he's considered a player and success. If a princess gets with even one man who's not her husband.... she's a whore. Some had to give up their sexy exploits for the sake of their empire (Princess Margaret of England). But that doesn't stop some from trying, to say the least (I'm looking at YOU, Princess Pauline Bonaparte). Let the smexy times begin!!! The Crazy-Ass Princesses As the old saying goes, there's one in every family. It probably doesn't help that most of the European royals married within the family, making the chance for insanity even higher. But since nobody listened to common sense back then, bad things were bound to happen. Some mental illnesses were caused by this inbreeding (Princess Alexandra Amelie of Bavaria); others were caused by plain old vanity (Elisabeth of Austria and her famous meat masks). Some weren't mad, but they were portrayed that way (Juana of Spain); others were justifiably insane (Elizabeth of Bathory and her slaughter in her quest to look younger). Either way, these are the princesses that if you ever encountered them, you'd back them up into a room a quickly lock the door. Being a princess can be hard (and possibly deadly) work. But it can also be FABULOUS.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Marquise

    A moderately entertaining "beach read" type of book, with enough amusing anecdotes to keep a reader turning the pages, but overall a rather superfluous one, which I suppose is the whole point, it being a condensed popular history product. Personally, most of these women were either already known to me or just not that interesting, so I cannot say I found this particularly enjoyable or informative. A moderately entertaining "beach read" type of book, with enough amusing anecdotes to keep a reader turning the pages, but overall a rather superfluous one, which I suppose is the whole point, it being a condensed popular history product. Personally, most of these women were either already known to me or just not that interesting, so I cannot say I found this particularly enjoyable or informative.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cassie-la

    REVIEW ALSO ON: http://bibliomantics.com/2013/11/15/d... As explained in its introduction, Princesses Behaving Badly seeks to destroy the myth of the "Princess Industrial Complex" covered in the book Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture by Peggy Orenstein. It argues that this belief in the fantasy princess life perpetuated by Disney and the real-life Kate Middleton is a dangerous one because no one seems to realize this imaginary world is an u REVIEW ALSO ON: http://bibliomantics.com/2013/11/15/d... As explained in its introduction, Princesses Behaving Badly seeks to destroy the myth of the "Princess Industrial Complex" covered in the book Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture by Peggy Orenstein. It argues that this belief in the fantasy princess life perpetuated by Disney and the real-life Kate Middleton is a dangerous one because no one seems to realize this imaginary world is an unrealistic one with harrowing real life consequences, such as the death of Princess Diana. It explores this idea by detailing stories of princesses who don't fit into this mold, presenting easy to read and digest mini-biographies of real world princesses who were anything but the well-behaved marriage alliance, baby-making machines and damsels in distresses we know from fairy tales. The book gives a wide swath of princesses to read up on and is divided by types: Warriors, Usurpers, Schemers, Survivors, Partiers, Floozies and Madwomen, exploring princesses from 1500 BCE to the 21st century, telling tales of Vikings, Egyptians, Tudors, and punks. Although not necessarily in order. McRobbie writes entirely readable histories of the women like the pirate princess, Egyptian ruler Hatshepsut, the princess who tried to wed Atilla the Hun, Isabella the "She-Wolf" of France who was buried with the heart of her husband in her hands, Lucrezia Borgia the mafia princess, the prisoner princess who wed a man dubbed "Pig Snout," the princess who became a communist, the punk rock princess, Pauline Bonaparte the exhibitionist princess and even Franziska the woman masquerading as the missing Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna to name a few. Each princess gets her own chapter complete with full biography that details the important parts of their lives and McRobbie stuffs the book with even more princesses by including fun little sections within each chapter dealing with other types of women and their royal counterparts throughout history. For example, women accused of witchcraft (see: Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth Woodville), so-called Dollar Princesses who kept European businessman afloat with money in exchange for titles, princesses who gave up their titles for love and mad princesses (see: Countess Elizabeth Bathory) which was my particular favorite section. Maybe she's born with it, maybe it's the blood of 600 slain virgins. Still other sections just seek to expand upon a historical practice at the time or more general topics such as the purpose of royal incest, how to fake being a princess and famous last words. While nothing could top the supposed last words of Oscar Wilde which are misquoted and not his last words ("either this wallpaper goes or I do"), Marie Antoinette's were pretty good. She allegedly said, "Pardon me, sir, I did not mean to do it" after stepping on the foot of her executioner. The book is also full of princesses accused of sexual debauchery, but as the author is quick to remind her reader, "the easiest way to slander a woman in any era is to call her a slut." Actually nailed it! To sum thing up for you, Princesses Behaving Badly is a must read for any history buffs, lovers of interesting historical tidbits or anyone who ever wishes their princesses were more Merida and less Snow White.

  14. 5 out of 5

    QOH

    This is a fluffy romp through history, with princesses doing exactly what the title says: behaving badly. Or being forced to behave badly due to circumstance, or being treated badly by other people. Basically, these are character sketches of princesses...minus the happy endings. I find the criticisms of the book as not being scholarly enough perplexing--what were these reviewers expecting? And yes, the notes are scanty, but the prose is fun and so far as I could tell, accurate, and if you're rea This is a fluffy romp through history, with princesses doing exactly what the title says: behaving badly. Or being forced to behave badly due to circumstance, or being treated badly by other people. Basically, these are character sketches of princesses...minus the happy endings. I find the criticisms of the book as not being scholarly enough perplexing--what were these reviewers expecting? And yes, the notes are scanty, but the prose is fun and so far as I could tell, accurate, and if you're reading this for a term paper, you aren't doing it properly, anyway. Go read Anne Somerset or Jenny Uglow for the weighty stuff. (Their notes will help you with a dissertation.) This is a fun, fast read. It's a great gift for a friend who likes history (but you never know if they're currently stuck on Soviet gulags or Regency England). I find the omission of Eleanor of Aquitaine glaring, but not enough to deduct a star. I loved that the author didn't neglect Asian or African princesses. Disclaimer: I received a review copy from the publisher via Red Letter Reads.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    Written in a casual, conversational voice, this contains short, 3-5 page stories of unconventional historical princesses. They’re a bit more Daenerys Targaryen than Cinderella. They’re princesses who have become pirates, warriors, army generals. They drink out of the skulls of their slaughtered enemies. The eras range anywhere from 3500 years ago (Hatshepsut, of Egypt) right up til present day (1994, the year Sofka Dolgorouky—the rather ironically Communist princess—died; she was the daughter of Written in a casual, conversational voice, this contains short, 3-5 page stories of unconventional historical princesses. They’re a bit more Daenerys Targaryen than Cinderella. They’re princesses who have become pirates, warriors, army generals. They drink out of the skulls of their slaughtered enemies. The eras range anywhere from 3500 years ago (Hatshepsut, of Egypt) right up til present day (1994, the year Sofka Dolgorouky—the rather ironically Communist princess—died; she was the daughter of a Russian count, descended from Catherine the Great; she helped save German Jews during the Holocaust; and Princess Margaret, sister of Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away in 2002). Author McRobbie also does an excellent job of finding royal women from every area of the globe: Europe, the Middle East/Mediterranean, Scandinavia, Asia, Africa, Iceland/Greenland, and more. I also liked the inclusion of some queer princesses (Christina of Sweden, for instance, seemed to prefer women to men, and they may also have been transgender). I read this mostly because I like the idea of accessible history centered around women. You can think of a million male historical figures from antiquity onwards, but women don’t make the history textbooks much. Or if they do, it’s in token form, with short little blurbs written in the margins, as if to highlight how “other” they are, and how cute it is to learn factoids about them while you learn entire biographies of their male counterparts. And this book was great! However, I really despised the organization of this book. It groups princesses by categories (warriors, usurpers, schemers, survivors, partiers, floozies, and madwomen) that don’t make much sense. I mean, there’s a huge amount of overlap between warriors/usurpers/survivors (arguably, all of these princesses would fairly be categorized as “survivors”), and between partiers/floozies, and between madwomen and all the other categories, depending on your perspective. It would have made a lot more sense to group them by time period (for instance, 1500BC-0AD, 0AD-500AD, 500AD-1000AD, 1000AD-1500AD, and 1500AD-Present Day) or by region (i.e. Asia, Europe, the Americas, Africa, Mediterranean, Arctic Circle). That said, it was a fun read. I especially liked these stories: 1. Khututlun of Mongolia, whose story is similar to the Greek Atalanta’s except that she refused to marry all men who couldn’t beat her in a wrestling match (rather than footrace) 2. Lakshmibai of India who fought, swords in hand, against British colonization in the 1800s with her adopted son strapped to her back 3. Njinga of Ndongo (later Angola), who rescued her people from her evil half-brother and ruled over them in peace, holding off the Portugese colonization for the entirety of her rule, signing treaties with them and forcing them to treat her as an equal; she had 50-60 husbands at a time, whom she called “concubines” and whom she would execute swiftly if they sexually assaulted her ladies-in-waiting (sadly, after her death the kingdom disintegrated and the Portugese took over, but even centuries later, Angolans still their "great queen") 4. The red-headed Roxolana of the Ottoman Empire, who began as a sex slave to the sultan and swiftly climbed her way up to the top of the concubine ranks, then convincing him to become virtually monogamous and then to marry her—the first concubine in the history to be freed and made legal wife. She wasn’t very pretty, but the Turks called her Hurrem, meaning “the laughing one” because she was joyful and make the emperor laugh too. He wrote a poem about her: My intimate companion, my one and all; sovereign of all beauties, my sultan. My life, the gift I own, my be-all; my elixir of Paradise, my Eden. Such a sweet love story. 5.And perhaps the most surprising story? Stephanie, the Viennese princess who was Jewish . . . and was best friends with Hitler in the 1930s and 40s. Come again? 6. Noor Khan, an Indian princess who spied for the Allied powers in Nazi-occupied France, whose last word--as she faced down a German firing squad at Dachau concentration camp--was the impassioned shout, "LIBERTE!!!"

  16. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    Behaving badly is an understatement in this history book. There are princesses who ran off with lovers, those who tried to usurp thrones, a few who would have been better rulers than their siblings, some who were mad and a few who were said to be mad but weren't. There were some what weren't actual royalty but did a good job at pretending to be, and fooled quite a few of the upper class while doing it. I enjoyed it and can't wait to add a copy to my library. Behaving badly is an understatement in this history book. There are princesses who ran off with lovers, those who tried to usurp thrones, a few who would have been better rulers than their siblings, some who were mad and a few who were said to be mad but weren't. There were some what weren't actual royalty but did a good job at pretending to be, and fooled quite a few of the upper class while doing it. I enjoyed it and can't wait to add a copy to my library.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Meagan

    When I saw the book blurb I was reminded of a favorite podcast, What's Her Name. However, Princesses Behaving Badly is a series of insensitive accounts of real women. Tone is undeniably difficult to master, especially with nonfiction/history. The genre often comes off as dry and, for the lack of a better phrase, Great-Uncle-ish. It's no surprise other authors try an opposite approach, extra saucy. Remember that moment in The Parent Trap when Meredith Blake goes "Just between us girls" to Lindsey When I saw the book blurb I was reminded of a favorite podcast, What's Her Name. However, Princesses Behaving Badly is a series of insensitive accounts of real women. Tone is undeniably difficult to master, especially with nonfiction/history. The genre often comes off as dry and, for the lack of a better phrase, Great-Uncle-ish. It's no surprise other authors try an opposite approach, extra saucy. Remember that moment in The Parent Trap when Meredith Blake goes "Just between us girls" to Lindsey Lohan and the audience is like "Oh no. This is going to get bad quick." Reading this book feels like that. McRobbie's attitude in regards to beauty standards is odd, especially considering the constant flux that is Female Beauty. The Rubenesque ideal was a thing (and *ahem* still is), but that's abandoned here in favor of 21st century fit/thin beauty standards. The author also spends chapters of the book dedicated to "Crazy" women, which made me cringe. There are women here I'm interested in learning more about, hopefully with more sensitivity.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rowiana

    I'm not a fan of history books, but this one was so good. The description of each princess, with her parents and past was amazing! Honestly, in the beginning of the book, I wanted to stop reading it after I realized that it is a history book, with real stories. But I did well reading it. Bcs it is so good. My favorite stories were: "Lakshmibai" "Hatshepsut" "Christina" "Caraboo (aka Mary Baker)" "Gloria von Thurn und Taxis" "Pauline Bonaparte" "Margaret" "Elisabeth of Austria" I'm not a fan of history books, but this one was so good. The description of each princess, with her parents and past was amazing! Honestly, in the beginning of the book, I wanted to stop reading it after I realized that it is a history book, with real stories. But I did well reading it. Bcs it is so good. My favorite stories were: "Lakshmibai" "Hatshepsut" "Christina" "Caraboo (aka Mary Baker)" "Gloria von Thurn und Taxis" "Pauline Bonaparte" "Margaret" "Elisabeth of Austria"

  19. 5 out of 5

    keikii Eats Books

    I enjoyed listening to the stories inside a lot. The layout for them was a bit..odd. But the contents were interesting and amusing.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    Right off the bat I'm going to say that if you don't like historicals then this is not for you. With that said, I found the dissemination of the information regarding these Royals/Royal Wannabes was very organized and in most cases concise. Obviously the further back into history you research, the less accurate the facts are and in some cases are hearsay dependent. But myths/legends come from somewhere based on someone, so it's still very interesting to learn about the struggles and causes being Right off the bat I'm going to say that if you don't like historicals then this is not for you. With that said, I found the dissemination of the information regarding these Royals/Royal Wannabes was very organized and in most cases concise. Obviously the further back into history you research, the less accurate the facts are and in some cases are hearsay dependent. But myths/legends come from somewhere based on someone, so it's still very interesting to learn about the struggles and causes being supported/fought for or against. The more "modern" women have more facts to back them up so their stories had more information that sometimes dragged out. This book covers warriors to schemers, survivors to floozies and partiers to madwomen; these women lived in difficult times and made the best of what they were allowed (and most of the time not) to have and do in their time. One thing they all had in common was their unequivocal perseverance to pave their own path regardless of any naysayers. Highly recommend to young girls and up for self empowerment and self actualization because if they could accomplish or not in those times, there's nothing stopping us now in these.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    This book would be really good for a high school student needing an historical subject about which to write. There are wonderful snippets of information about a good number of girls and women who became leaders in their time. It's just the manner in which the information is presented that bothered me. The tone is flippant. It tries too hard to be hip. The author goes out of her way to try and sound cool... but the language just comes across as forced and strained to me. Example: referring to a s This book would be really good for a high school student needing an historical subject about which to write. There are wonderful snippets of information about a good number of girls and women who became leaders in their time. It's just the manner in which the information is presented that bothered me. The tone is flippant. It tries too hard to be hip. The author goes out of her way to try and sound cool... but the language just comes across as forced and strained to me. Example: referring to a subject's mother as "on her way to Crazytown." Perhaps if I were 40 years younger, I might enjoy the book more. Then again, I'd probably have been even more annoyed by it than I am. I do have to say that I have found a number of people I'd like to know more about. And I do thank the author for that.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lois

    This primarily focuses on European and a few American Princesses. These women get the most interesting and least judgmental chapters. The smattering of Asian, Egyptian, Persian, Indigenous and singular West African women included are largely presented through the veil of colonialism. It's cringeworthy and gross. Even the parts about European women are riddled with ableism and slut shaming. I was not very impressed with the accuracy either. This is an entertaining and biased romp through history as This primarily focuses on European and a few American Princesses. These women get the most interesting and least judgmental chapters. The smattering of Asian, Egyptian, Persian, Indigenous and singular West African women included are largely presented through the veil of colonialism. It's cringeworthy and gross. Even the parts about European women are riddled with ableism and slut shaming. I was not very impressed with the accuracy either. This is an entertaining and biased romp through history as it applied to Europeans.

  23. 4 out of 5

    christina

    Overall I enjoyed this book, I think its a nice introduction to bad ass women in history. (It's also a fun read that doesn't take itself too seriously. This rubbed some readers the wrong way, but the author states early on her intentions of writing this book). After reading this, I definitely want to look into some more historically accurate books about some of these BA women. This book is broken down into sections, below are some of my favorites from each: Warriors: Princesses Who Fought Their Ow Overall I enjoyed this book, I think its a nice introduction to bad ass women in history. (It's also a fun read that doesn't take itself too seriously. This rubbed some readers the wrong way, but the author states early on her intentions of writing this book). After reading this, I definitely want to look into some more historically accurate books about some of these BA women. This book is broken down into sections, below are some of my favorites from each: Warriors: Princesses Who Fought Their Own Battles Alfhild the Princess Who Turned Pirate Pingyang the Princess Who Led an Army Olgaof Kiev the Princess Who Slaughtered Her Way to Sainthood Khutulan the Princess Who Ruled the Wrestling Mat Usurpers: Princesses Who Grabbed Power in a Man’s World Wu Zetian the Princess Who Became Emperor of China Schemers: Princesses Who Plotted and Planned Isabella of France the She-Wolf Princess Roxolana the Princess Who Went from Sex Slave to Sultana Survivors: Princesses Who Made Controversial and Questionable Choices Lucrezia the Renaissance Mafia Princess Malinche the Princess Who Served Her Country's Conquerers Sarah Winnemucca the Princess Accused of Collaborating Sofka Dolgorousky the Princess Who Turned Communist Partiers: Princesses Who Love to Live it Up Clara Ward the Princess Who Ran Off with a Gypsy Floozies: Princesses Nororious for Their Sexy Exploits Pauline Bonaparte the Exhibitionist Princess Madwomen: Princesses Who Were Likely Mad, or Close to it Noor Inayat Khan the Resistance Princess

  24. 5 out of 5

    Devann

    This was a really interesting book. I've read a lot of these books about forgotten women of history [though never one centered solely on princesses] so there is always a certain amount of overlap but I would say this one was still at least half or possibly more about women that I didn't know much of anything about. The mini biographies were very easy to read and also very informative, and I liked that she presented both good and bad qualities from the women featured. I would definitely recommend This was a really interesting book. I've read a lot of these books about forgotten women of history [though never one centered solely on princesses] so there is always a certain amount of overlap but I would say this one was still at least half or possibly more about women that I didn't know much of anything about. The mini biographies were very easy to read and also very informative, and I liked that she presented both good and bad qualities from the women featured. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about women in history.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ Jenn Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ Schu

    This was a Goodreads' Giveaway win and as many of you that are reading understand require a review. The positive: I thought this was an interesting book featuring various women from different time periods and cultures. I enjoyed learning a bit about the histories of the few women that were unknown to me. I also enjoyed the comparisons to other women of the period to provide a fuller perspective of the particular women showcased in a chapter. The weakness: In some segments of the book the tone was n This was a Goodreads' Giveaway win and as many of you that are reading understand require a review. The positive: I thought this was an interesting book featuring various women from different time periods and cultures. I enjoyed learning a bit about the histories of the few women that were unknown to me. I also enjoyed the comparisons to other women of the period to provide a fuller perspective of the particular women showcased in a chapter. The weakness: In some segments of the book the tone was negative, sometimes quite pessimistic (yes, I know the title of the book), but it didn't add to the story and reduced the history's objectivity. Overall: A broad stroke to histories of women that may be unknown to wider audiences.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    Read This Review & More Like It At Ageless Pages Reviews An absolutely fascinating collection of “royal” women, though the title is a serious misnomer. This book actually collects empresses, khans, ranis, commoners posing as royals, and yes, some princesses. Many of them didn’t behave badly, just differently from the cultural norms of the time, though some were certainly wicked, (there are sections for usurpers and schemers, along with the floozies, partiers, madwomen, warriors, and survivors.) S Read This Review & More Like It At Ageless Pages Reviews An absolutely fascinating collection of “royal” women, though the title is a serious misnomer. This book actually collects empresses, khans, ranis, commoners posing as royals, and yes, some princesses. Many of them didn’t behave badly, just differently from the cultural norms of the time, though some were certainly wicked, (there are sections for usurpers and schemers, along with the floozies, partiers, madwomen, warriors, and survivors.) Sections are arranged chronologically, with each chapter serving as a mini biography of an individual woman who fits the section header. Especially in the first chapters, the book features a lot of lesser known stories, mostly centered around women of color. This was extremely exciting, though a little concerning that there weren’t many modern examples. My favorite was Empress Wu and the effects of the patriarchy and revisionist history on her legacy. (In a similar vein, I also enjoyed the dissection of Lucrezia Borgia as a victim of the patriarchy and not the “slutty poisoner” her family’s enemies have tried to paint her as.) Additionally, Malinche and Sarah Winnemucca’s stories are heartbreaking and worryingly similar, despite being “traitors” to their indigenous peoples more than 300 years apart. Some of the stories are little more than retellings of folktales, owed to the lack of real information on the women, while others are richly detailed and studied. I wish my advanced copy had included the bibliography, because I’d really love to see the research that went into the assertion that Juana la Loca was actually quite sane. (Another victim of men’s desire to control her and her lands.) The fake princesses were something I was only vaguely aware of, which made for great fun to study. I’m just old enough to remember the DNA test that proved Franziska Schanzkowska was not the Grand Duchess Anastasia. Her real story is far more interesting and sad than the Don Bluth movie makes it sound. Princess Caraboo was funny in an absurd, people-believed-this? kind of way, though of course it’s also sad that she felt the need to go to such lengths for a place to stay. The Persian mummy is horrifying and happened in entirely too modern an era. Written in a conversational tone, the book is extremely readable and a lot of fun, but it’s obvious that the author doesn’t want to trade in idle gossip. There are no stories of Empresses and their horses, no perpetuating women bathing in blood, (though Elisabeth of Austria may have worn veal,) and it’s clear she doesn’t believe rumors of incest or witchcraft in the Tudor courts. Frankly, it’s the most balanced of the “royal scandals” genre that I’ve encountered.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars, because it was lacking. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it- but I feel like I would much rather read longer biographies on most of these women, especially ones like Alfhild, Wu Zetian, Lakshmibai, and Roxolana. I also feel like the title isn't very accurate- most of these women weren't 'bad', but either sexually liberated, mad, or self centered. Yes, some of them were maybe not the best, most pristine women, but most weren't evil. They were complex, opinionated w I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars, because it was lacking. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it- but I feel like I would much rather read longer biographies on most of these women, especially ones like Alfhild, Wu Zetian, Lakshmibai, and Roxolana. I also feel like the title isn't very accurate- most of these women weren't 'bad', but either sexually liberated, mad, or self centered. Yes, some of them were maybe not the best, most pristine women, but most weren't evil. They were complex, opinionated women, usually oppressed by the patriarchy of the times. I think a better title would have been "Princesses of Note", or "Princesses with Either a Mind of their Own, or not Given a Mind of their Own". Some of these stories were quite tragic, actually- especially those about women with mental illnesses or being locked up. I think the biggest takeaway from this book I'll have is getting to learn more about some of these women- in more than just snippets that felt a bit judgmental at times.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mjspice

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. DNF. I thought this was going to be something like the "Rejected Princesses" blog but seems I was wrong. Honestly though, the condescending tone of the author really turned me off. I get the consumerism part but the whole bit in the beginning about Disney Princesses, Kate Middleton & Barbie "teaching girls to be Princesses" rubbed me the wrong way. Anyhow, I'd rather recommend the above mentioned blog as it's more accessible & well researched than this book. DNF. I thought this was going to be something like the "Rejected Princesses" blog but seems I was wrong. Honestly though, the condescending tone of the author really turned me off. I get the consumerism part but the whole bit in the beginning about Disney Princesses, Kate Middleton & Barbie "teaching girls to be Princesses" rubbed me the wrong way. Anyhow, I'd rather recommend the above mentioned blog as it's more accessible & well researched than this book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cassidy (Reminders of the Changing Time)

    Review available at http://bit.ly/2KyA1zz Review available at http://bit.ly/2KyA1zz

  30. 4 out of 5

    Carmen

    Continuing my search for books on women throughout history, I came across this book that touches on princesses remembered for not acting the way people thought they should. I picked it up as soon as possible and was not disappointed. If you’re looking for a serious history book, this will be a hard pass for you. This is a collection of mini biographies on princesses who are remembered for not acting the way people thought they should. It’s written in a fun style meant to give readers a short and Continuing my search for books on women throughout history, I came across this book that touches on princesses remembered for not acting the way people thought they should. I picked it up as soon as possible and was not disappointed. If you’re looking for a serious history book, this will be a hard pass for you. This is a collection of mini biographies on princesses who are remembered for not acting the way people thought they should. It’s written in a fun style meant to give readers a short and sometimes entertaining run through that may inspire further research. If this sounds up your alley, I urge you to pick it up because you won’t be disappointed. I thought this was a fun read that gives a series of snapshot views into the antics of princesses ranging from ancient times to now. Some of these princesses are fictional, which are noted at some point during their sections. I was aware of some of these fictional and non-fictional princesses from other books I’ve read. However, it’s always interesting to see what new information might appear as well as what a different author’s take on them is. The people covered are separated based on what group the author believed they fell under. For example, there are warriors, partiers, floozies, and phonies. Yes, you read that right. You will find princesses and those who ran a scam and pretended to be one in the pages of this book. Other than fake princesses, you will also find people who are very loosely royal. The author may have stretched the term “princess” a bit and included queens and empresses and those who pretended to be royal, but it doesn’t make them any less fun or interesting to read about. One of the things I liked is that we get an overall view of each person’s life, what they did, what may not be true, and how their lives went. I also liked when the mini biography began with what is usually told about the person before diving into what really happened. It’s always interesting to see how things were condensed or exaggerated before reading about the truth, or as close to it as one can find. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I learned about some people I had never heard of. I found the section on people who pretended to be princesses very interesting because I can’t believe people actually believed the stories they had created. I learned about some interesting people that I might find in-depth books on later. All in all, I highly recommend this book.

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