E. Herman. Sex With Kings: Five Hundred Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry and Revenge. New York: HarperCollins. 2004. Pp. 287. (Trade paperback 13.95)
Sex With Kings is a witty and entertaining read on the various aspects of the life of a royal mistress through the lives of the mistress of European kings. The book is divided into the various aspects of a royal mistress’s tenure polishing the royal scepter, from a discussion of our perception of mistresshood being all about “Sex With the King”, to some of the realities of being the royal mistress from rivalry with the queen to the so-called “Fruits of Sin–Royal Bastards”. The author uses a variety of sources to tell the story of these women who often changed the path of history from the bedchamber and are often ignored in the greater narrative of history. From start to end, this book is probably the most entertaining work of historical non-fiction that I have ever had the pleasure to read!
Six out of five tumbles!!