Author: Leslie Carroll
Title: Royal Pains: A Rogue’s Gallery of Brats, Brutes, and Bad Seeds
Description: This book is made up of unconnected chapters that each document the life of a royal person who the author has deemed to be a “royal pain.” These folks range from the horrendous (Elizabet Bathory) to the merely rambunctious (Princess Margaret), so “pain” has a wide range of meanings here.
Writing style: The book is pretty straight history; there’s not a lot of personal commentary by the author or inappropriate humor. She seems to have been writing from the historical documents available and news accounts of the time. The chapters are longish, around 40 pages or so.
Audience: History buffs, especially people interested in royalty. Some of the more horrible people here did some horribly graphic things, so young children and people sensitive to extreme violence should stay away.
Major ideas: Unlimited power and few moral restraints don’t exactly produce good character.
Wrap-up: I enjoy reading detailed history, but this book proves over and over again how nasty people are. 3/5*