Royal Affairs: British Monarchs Behaving Badly

Leslie Carroll’s Royal Affairs:  A Lusty Romp Through the Extramarital Adventures That Rocked the British Monarchy examines infidelity in the British monarchy from Henry II to Charles, Diana and Camilla.  It is fairly exhaustive and no major lover or mistress is left unturned (no small feat when dealing with a monarch like Charles II).  You have the homosexual lovers of Edward II and James I.  You have Henry VIII’s wives recounted in detail.  You even have Queen Victoria and John Brown whose actual sexual relationship is not seriously believed but as an emotional attachment is included.  I was actually a little disappointed that she ended with Charles, Diana and Camilla because why would I care to read about that old tale again, but Carroll made it interesting. 

My biggest quibble with the book is that Carroll’s writing is extremely dry.  Everything is presented factually and objectively, which is great, but it sort of took the oomph out of a book about GASP! infidelity.  It’s not necessarily a fun book, but you will learn quite a bit since she covers about 800 years of history.

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