Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History—without the Fairy-Tale Endings

Princesses Behaving Badly Real Stories from History without the Fairy Tale Endings 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

  • Title: Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History—without the Fairy-Tale Endings
  • Author: Linda Rodríguez McRobbie
  • ISBN: 9781594746444
  • Page: 398
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 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 rYou 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 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 It s a fascinating read for history buffs, feminists, and anyone seeking a different kind of bedtime story.

    One thought on “Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History—without the Fairy-Tale Endings”

    1. 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 [...]

    2. 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 [...]

    3. 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 [...]

    4. 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 [...]

    5. My review is based on two things: 1.) Based on listening to the audio version2.) 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 [...]

    6. I won a copy of this book through a First Reads giveaway. While 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 p [...]

    7. 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.

    8. REVIEW ALSO ON: bibliomantics/2013/11/15/dAs 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 [...]

    9. 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, [...]

    10. 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 princessesminus 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 readin [...]

    11. 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. [...]

    12. 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.

    13. Her zaman masalların orijinallerine takıntım olmuştur. Bu kitap hikaye tadında gerçekleri anlatıyor. Bize prenseslerin sonsuza kadar mutlu yaşamadıklarını anlatan çok güzel bir biyografi kitabı. Bunun yanında biraz kurgusallığa kaçtığını unutmamak gerekir, kendi görüşlerine de ufakta olsa yer vermiş yazar.

    14. This was a ' 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, [...]

    15. Read This Review & More Like It At Ageless Pages ReviewsAn 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 sur [...]

    16. 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 [...]

    17. 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 subj [...]

    18. I really didn't want this book to end but still. It was a good book and super amazing what these bad ass princesses did in their time.

    19. 3.5 stars. If I had any notions of becoming a princess, they would certainly have dispelled with reading this book. While I didn't need the opening soapbox to know that being a princess isn't what Disney cracks it up to be, I don't think I realized how bad some of these born princesses had it. Setting legends aside, Isabella of France was married off to King Edward II of England at the age of 12. He was 24 - and very much in love with a man. Lucrezia of Italy was married off to three different m [...]

    20. This book had way too many errors in it that could have been fixed if the editing was any good. I don't think I have ever seen a book have so many sentences stop in the middle with a period and then just continue. It was embarrassing. The content of the book was pretty good and I think the author could be pretty funny. I just felt like it was better meant for basic history lovers.

    21. This turned out to be much better than I expected and I would definitely recommend it!It's frustrating that the idea of a book about princesses seems, on the surface of it, soivolous? This is a great introduction to some very interesting women throughout history who, through knowing about their lives, really add dimension to the "princess" label. While each princess definitely gets more than a cursory look (some going much further in depth than others), it's more of a detailed overview than an i [...]

    22. i have read many books about bizarre royalty / 1%-ers because history is so much better than fiction (who could make up Catherine Radziwill?). Consistently, the insular world of the very very rich leads to unconscionable rot and abuse, expensive pestilence, punitive misanthropy. Books which focus on the limitless foibles and excesses of the rarefied classes are usually humourously entertaining, filled with schadenfreude and tiny biopics that are devoid of much background (i.e. "Royal Babylon"). [...]

    23. While this book doesn't limit itself to "real stories" at least in terms of ones with a basis in historical record/documents, it was still an entertaining read. Or listen. I might rate it higher just due to the fact that the narrator did a great job conveying a little of her opinion on the matter at hand along with only reading the story, just from the inflections of her voice. It was clear when she thought treatment of one of these women was some utter bullshit. haha.There were so many who I ha [...]

    24. MY THOUGHTSLOVED ITThis book is a lot of fun and full of information in easily digested takes on princesses through out history. There is no sugar coating these women. Some are hussies, villains, crazy and down-right smart. Most of them are marginalized in some way by men, who sought their power and wealth. Of course, since men historically have written the books on the past, it is hard to find the truth in what these women were actually like. I truly enjoyed the chapter on the mad princesses. I [...]

    25. I truly enjoyed this so much! Don't think of this as a "princess" book, but as the actual history behind actual women in history who made what they thought were the best choices for them in their circumstances. Divided up into sections such as Warriors, Usurpers, Schemers, Survivors, Partiers, Floozies, and Madwomen, this book covers over 70 princesses throughout history and across continents. I also finally comprehended how much of history is omitted in the education system, ESPECIALLY about wo [...]

    26. Meh. It was okay although I fear I didn't absorb much if anything from this book. I would like to learn more about a few of these though and recognized several of the women. This book gave us an account of many princesses (and women who were NOT princesses) who did not have so called "fairy tale endings". First of all, I have no idea what in the hell she was trying to argue. I also found this book sloppy, with some spelling errors and princesses that didn't fit into their sections and a commenta [...]

    27. Loved the idea, and reasonably enjoyed the stories, though the writing sometimes felt a little too gossipy. I think I valued this more as a starting point to inspire me to go out and research some of these people myself, rather than for the information necessarily that I received from them. I appreciated the author's attempts to see both sides of many of these stories, though a lot of the writing on sexuality and mental illness felt quite removed to me, which made it harder to appreciate. All in [...]

    28. 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. I enjoyed it for the most part. McRobbie doesn't go in depth with the history of the princesses. Rather, she summarizes their stories, making it feel like she is leaving out some information. Seeing as there are tons of princesses I understand that there isn't enough room to go into further detail, or else this book would have been thousands of pages long. It still left me wanting to learn more.

    30. Unique, fascinating, well-researched. Just not something one can read in a sitting. One or two stories per reading is enough. Very enjoyable and a great gift item!

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