Author: Eleanor Herman
Publish Date: April 1, 2005
List Price: $13.95
My Rating: 2 out of 5
Continuing her accounts of history from women's perspective, Herman foregrounds the royal mistresses of Europe since the Middle Ages, who are usually relegated to shadows even when significantly influencing policy. One of her insights is that mistresses provided kings not so much with sex as with companionship.
This book was supposed to be about the historical role the mistress played in the structure and balance of the monarchy. Be it for beauty, politics, power, greed, or even love, the mistress played an important role whether moral or not. This book was disappointing to say the least. This book is not organized well. To read it is confusing and without an organized flow. It was very disjointed and skipped around way too much. The characters begin to blend together and it is hard for the reader to place the event being read about into a time line with the right historical figures. The character stories should have been organized into mini-stories or into specific topics, or at least by a time table. An interesting insight to the role of mistress. I already have another of Eleanor Herman's books and I am not sure that I will read it through like this one if it is as haphazardly put together like this one.