Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodríguez McRobbie

Princesses Behaving Badly

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. Empr...

Details Princesses Behaving Badly

TitlePrincesses Behaving Badly
Release DateMar 6th, 2018
PublisherQuirk Books
GenreNonfiction, History, Historical, Biography, Feminism

Reviews Princesses Behaving Badly

  • Sasha Strader
    An interesting premise, but not really all that well executed. First, and most tellingly, a few of the "real" stories are based on mythology or folklore with absolutely no proof of their existence and say as much. Why create a book of real stories and go down that path? It especially irked me in the case of "The Princess who was a Pirate" since it was just mentioned casually towards the end of the story that her existence was only in the tall tal...
  • Jane
    Where I got the book: ARC from LibraryThing Early Reviewer Program. A book club read.First of all, this is not a "serious" history book. I gather some readers have had problems with the lack of academic gravitas so if you're looking for stories of princesses with copious endnotes, stop right now and proceed to a university library. My copy is an advance reading copy so I can't tell you about the selected bibliography or the index, but from readin...
  • Rebecca Huston
    Sadly, I picked this one up to see if I could fight off a case of insomnia. That didn't happen. This rather short, nonfiction book is a slight, very fluffy accounting of princesses who didn't have a chance of happiness. Each one gets a page or two, a woodcut-looking illustration if they were lucky, and the author dishing up plenty of snark and snide as a bonus. Many of these ladies I had heard of, a few I knew fairly well, and quite a few were th...
  • Jessica
    My favorite kind of history book: the interesting bits, presented in handy bite-sized portions. This book is full of short (most around 4 pages) biographies of notable princesses from the 4th century to the 21st. Some of them were horrible, some insane. And some were warriors, some were saints in life and have become literal saints in death. Some were total fakers, too, like Princess Caraboo. (Side note: I love the movie with Phoebe Cates, and ju...
  • Kat
    My review is based on two things: 1.) Based on listening to the audio version2.) The introduction by the author asserted that she wanted to debunk the Disney princess idealism by sharing real stories of real princesses. The structure of the book was disjointed and contradictory. The author grouped these "princesses" (the term is used loosely as she also featured queens, empresses, and American rich girls) into various categories - "warriors," "fl...
  • Alice
    I won a copy of this book through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. While Goodreads does ask for a review in exchange for the advance reader copy, I was in no way compensated for my review.This is a collection of stories about real-life princesses throughout history who made their marks, in one way or another. Several make power grabs, while others are known for being the true power behind the throne, or for their madness. There are some warriors...
  • Marquise
    A moderately entertaining "beach read" type of book, with enough amusing anecdotes to keep a reader turning the pages, but overall a rather superfluous one, which I suppose is the whole point, it being a condensed popular history product. Personally, most of these women were either already known to me or just not that interesting, so I cannot say I found this particularly enjoyable or informative.
  • Cassie-la
    REVIEW ALSO ON: explained in its introduction, Princesses Behaving Badly seeks to destroy the myth of the "Princess Industrial Complex" covered in the book Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture by Peggy Orenstein. It argues that this belief in the fantasy princess life perpetuated by Disney and the real-life Kate Middleton is a dangerous one because no...
  • Lea
    This book has an interesting title and an interesting premise. Unfortunately, the writing is atrocious.I'm confused as to the actual target audience the author was trying to reach here. In the introduction, she talks about how Disney is evil and poisoning the minds of our youth by making girls want to be like the Disney princesses (don't even get me started on this bullshit - she must have missed how Disney princesses are brave, kind, generous, h...
  • Shelley
    This is a fluffy romp through history, with princesses doing exactly what the title says: behaving badly. Or being forced to behave badly due to circumstance, or being treated badly by other people. Basically, these are character sketches of princesses...minus the happy endings. I find the criticisms of the book as not being scholarly enough perplexing--what were these reviewers expecting? And yes, the notes are scanty, but the prose is fun and s...
  • Katherine
    We've all heard the tales of famous princesses (and queens); Marie-Antoinette, Elizabeth I, Cleopatra. But there are some princesses that are completely overlooked in the modern history books, forever to be obscure. Until now. In this collection, the author takes a look at some of the more colorful princesses and queens of the world. Divided into seven sections based on personality traits and actions, it gives a brief glimpse into the crazy shena...
  • Diana
    Behaving badly is an understatement in this history book. There are princesses who ran off with lovers, those who tried to usurp thrones, a few who would have been better rulers than their siblings, some who were mad and a few who were said to be mad but weren't. There were some what weren't actual royalty but did a good job at pretending to be, and fooled quite a few of the upper class while doing it. I enjoyed it and can't wait to add a copy to...
  • Keira Daisy
    Her zaman masalların orijinallerine takıntım olmuştur. Bu kitap hikaye tadında gerçekleri anlatıyor. Bize prenseslerin sonsuza kadar mutlu yaşamadıklarını anlatan çok güzel bir biyografi kitabı. Bunun yanında biraz kurgusallığa kaçtığını unutmamak gerekir, kendi görüşlerine de ufakta olsa yer vermiş yazar.
  • Jen Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ
    This was a Goodreads' Giveaway win and as many of you that are reading understand require a review.The positive:I thought this was an interesting book featuring various women from different time periods and cultures. I enjoyed learning a bit about the histories of the few women that were unknown to me. I also enjoyed the comparisons to other women of the period to provide a fuller perspective of the particular women showcased in a chapter. The we...
  • Danielle
    Read This Review & More Like It At Ageless Pages ReviewsAn absolutely fascinating collection of “royal” women, though the title is a serious misnomer. This book actually collects empresses, khans, ranis, commoners posing as royals, and yes, some princesses. Many of them didn’t behave badly, just differently from the cultural norms of the time, though some were certainly wicked, (there are sections for usurpers and schemers, along with the f...
  • Elizabeth
    I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars, because it was lacking. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it- but I feel like I would much rather read longer biographies on most of these women, especially ones like Alfhild, Wu Zetian, Lakshmibai, and Roxolana. I also feel like the title isn't very accurate- most of these women weren't 'bad', but either sexually liberated, mad, or self centered. Yes, some of them were maybe not the best, most pristine women, but m...
  • Cynthia
    This book would be really good for a high school student needing an historical subject about which to write. There are wonderful snippets of information about a good number of girls and women who became leaders in their time. It's just the manner in which the information is presented that bothered me. The tone is flippant. It tries too hard to be hip. The author goes out of her way to try and sound cool... but the language just comes across as fo...
  • Cameron
    I really didn't want this book to end but still. It was a good book and super amazing what these bad ass princesses did in their time.
  • Stephanie
    3.5 stars. If I had any notions of becoming a princess, they would certainly have dispelled with reading this book. While I didn't need the opening soapbox to know that being a princess isn't what Disney cracks it up to be, I don't think I realized how bad some of these born princesses had it. Setting legends aside, Isabella of France was married off to King Edward II of England at the age of 12. He was 24 - and very much in love with a man. Lucr...
  • Kristen Lesperance
    This book had way too many errors in it that could have been fixed if the editing was any good. I don't think I have ever seen a book have so many sentences stop in the middle with a period and then just continue. It was embarrassing. The content of the book was pretty good and I think the author could be pretty funny. I just felt like it was better meant for basic history lovers.
  • Nicole
    This turned out to be much better than I expected and I would definitely recommend it!It's frustrating that the idea of a book about princesses seems, on the surface of it, so...frivolous? This is a great introduction to some very interesting women throughout history who, through knowing about their lives, really add dimension to the "princess" label. While each princess definitely gets more than a cursory look (some going much further in depth t...
  • dianne
    i have read many books about bizarre royalty / 1%-ers because history is so much better than fiction (who could make up Catherine Radziwill?). Consistently, the insular world of the very very rich leads to unconscionable rot and abuse, expensive pestilence, punitive misanthropy. Books which focus on the limitless foibles and excesses of the rarefied classes are usually humourously entertaining, filled with schadenfreude and tiny biopics that are ...
  • Morgan
    While this book doesn't limit itself to "real stories" at least in terms of ones with a basis in historical record/documents, it was still an entertaining read. Or listen. I might rate it higher just due to the fact that the narrator did a great job conveying a little of her opinion on the matter at hand along with only reading the story, just from the inflections of her voice. It was clear when she thought treatment of one of these women was som...
  • Mary (BookHounds)
    MY THOUGHTSLOVED ITThis book is a lot of fun and full of information in easily digested takes on princesses through out history. There is no sugar coating these women. Some are hussies, villains, crazy and down-right smart. Most of them are marginalized in some way by men, who sought their power and wealth. Of course, since men historically have written the books on the past, it is hard to find the truth in what these women were actually like. I ...
  • Laura (Bookies & Cookies)
    I truly enjoyed this so much! Don't think of this as a "princess" book, but as the actual history behind actual women in history who made what they thought were the best choices for them in their circumstances. Divided up into sections such as Warriors, Usurpers, Schemers, Survivors, Partiers, Floozies, and Madwomen, this book covers over 70 princesses throughout history and across continents. I also finally comprehended how much of history is om...
  • Tracie
    Meh. It was okay although I fear I didn't absorb much if anything from this book. I would like to learn more about a few of these though and recognized several of the women. This book gave us an account of many princesses (and women who were NOT princesses) who did not have so called "fairy tale endings". First of all, I have no idea what in the hell she was trying to argue. I also found this book sloppy, with some spelling errors and princesses ...
  • Mia
    Loved the idea, and reasonably enjoyed the stories, though the writing sometimes felt a little too gossipy. I think I valued this more as a starting point to inspire me to go out and research some of these people myself, rather than for the information necessarily that I received from them. I appreciated the author's attempts to see both sides of many of these stories, though a lot of the writing on sexuality and mental illness felt quite removed...
  • Mjspice
    DNF. I thought this was going to be something like the "Rejected Princesses" blog but seems I was wrong. Honestly though, the condescending tone of the author really turned me off. I get the consumerism part but the whole bit in the beginning about Disney Princesses, Kate Middleton & Barbie "teaching girls to be Princesses" rubbed me the wrong way. Anyhow, I'd rather recommend the above mentioned blog as it's more accessible & well researched tha...
  • Vicky Marie
    I enjoyed it for the most part. McRobbie doesn't go in depth with the history of the princesses. Rather, she summarizes their stories, making it feel like she is leaving out some information. Seeing as there are tons of princesses I understand that there isn't enough room to go into further detail, or else this book would have been thousands of pages long. It still left me wanting to learn more.
  • Amber Brown
    Unique, fascinating, well-researched. Just not something one can read in a sitting. One or two stories per reading is enough. Very enjoyable and a great gift item!