Royal Scandals – Michael Farquhar

17 May

The royals in this book are out of focus and overexposed... just like this picture.

I’m heading to Bismarck this morning but before I do I wanted to make sure that I had a post up for you.  I’d hate to see Big Cat’s head explode or my dear sweet Lexi without anything to “Like”.  I’ve been putting off posting about this book for awhile.  As in I read it in January.  It’s a good book and a quick read.  But if you look at the picture you’ll see I put a bunch of tags in it.  I couldn’t remember where people I was interested in were mentioned so I had to mark it.  That’s not typical for me so I’m going to blame the book.

Now the subtitle of this book is “The Shocking True Stories of History’s Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings and Queens, Tsars, Popes and Emperors”.  That’s a darn good subtitle.  That and the fun cover made this book drop into my Amazon shopping cart.  The problem is that I didn’t know that much about the people discussed in this book at the time.  I had no past knowledge to hang these new exciting tidbits on.  Now the more that I read up on Europe the more I encounter them and it’s starting to stick.  On my first read it just was liking reading a People magazine where you don’t know any of the stars.  Which, by the way, is happening the older I get.  Even the people on the cover don’t always register and I feel like I’m minutes from Social Security.

One of the more memorable stories involves King Louis XIV’s heart.  If you’ll remember this was the Sun King.  He had a long and popular reign in France.  Farther down the line and things aren’t going as well.  The Revolution comes and Louis XVI finds out that royalty is no longer revered.  If he wanted physical proof of this (besides the guillotine) it could be had in Louis XIV’s heart being scrounged from its final resting place and sold to a Brit.  This Brit eventually dies and the heart becomes part of his estate.  It’s then inherited by his son.  He’s a bit of a weird one.  He starts a group called the Society for the Acclimatization of Animals in the United Kingdom.  You know, SAAUK.  We’ve all heard of that, undoubtedly.  Right.  Anyway, the whole idea behind this group was to eat rare and exotic animals.  That’s what “acclimatizing” meant to these guys.  So after trying a bit of everything this son decides to eat the King’s heart.  Yeah.  And you thought that eating snails was grody.

There’s a bunch of fun stuff to learn on popes and emperors.  I really enjoyed that part as I knew a bit more about these historical figures.  I honestly plan on reading this book again closer to our trip.  By then I might find that certain monarchies are no longer unknown to me.  I’ll probably know how they took their coffee and which servants they like to sleep with.  The section on the Sun King is especially interesting as it was a huge honor to be in presence during everything.  Like sitting on the throne.  No, not that throne… the other one.  You might even get to help wipe up the King’s posterior.  What a life.

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