Princesses Behaving Badly

Princesses Behaving Badly

Real Stories From History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings

eBook - 2013
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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 more 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 more. It's a fascinating read for history buffs, feminists, and anyone seeking a different kind of bedtime story.
Publisher: 2013
ISBN: 9781594746659

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SaraLovesBooks Jan 26, 2017

I genuinely enjoy this book. It's a lot of stories and snapshots of real women's lives throughout history...and a few legendary/mythological women as well. However, the point of the book is to show why princesses shouldn't be pigeon-holed into one state of being, and how dangerous it can be to real women to force them down that path. The tone of the stories are engaging and funny, though some of the women had incredibly sad lives.

The one thing that knocked a star off for me was the introduction. The author takes condescending pot-shots at princesses, especially at the Disney princess line. In that, she's not taking her own advice. So many people have trapped all princesses as being the same thing: demure damsels-in-distress...and most of the Disney princesses are no such thing. To be honest, I wondered if she had even seen a Disney movie to make those sort of assumptions about them. I do like the idea of writing a book about real life princesses, to show why such assumptions are bad and potentially harmful. I just wish she had taken her own advice.

a
adoryall
Aug 06, 2015

The chatty thumb-nail sketches are written at the Middle-School Valley-Girl level. However, it has genuine annotations and a terrific references cited section. This author behaved responsibly!!

p
puzumaki
May 14, 2015

This book contains a series of vignettes of different "princesses" (varying degrees of authenticity included) grouped by "type" (floozies, crazies, etc). I cannot say how well researched each vignette is, but the overall point of the book is that princesses are very often not "Disney"-esque. It achieves that purpose well.

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adoryall
Aug 06, 2015

adoryall thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 20

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