Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Review:"Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History Without the Fairy Tale Ending" by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

At some point every little girl wants to be a princess. Hopefully not a real princess, probably more of a Disney/sanitized/true love/talking dishes/forest animals are my friends kind of princess. (The more I think about it the weirder I think talking dishes are). Anyway, this book talks about actual princesses, and most have lives that no one would want for themselves.

The book kind of categorizes the princess in different ways: mad princesses, princesses who did things their own way, tragic princesses, etc. I was pleasantly surprised to see that a portion of the princesses were slightly more recent, not everyone was rocking the beehive powdered wig.

The princess who talks to angels: Princess Martha Louise was born in 1971 and is the fourth in line to the Norwegian crown. She also claims to be clairvoyant. She's even opened a school to help people find their "spiritual passwords" and try to communicate with angels.

The princess who defied the Nazis: Princess Noor Inayat Khan was the daughter of an American mother and an Indian sultan father.In 1940 she became a British spy and was the first female wireless operator, she was stationed in Nazi occupied France. In 1943 she was betrayed by a contact and ran from the Gestapo for months until she was finally caught. She was executed in 1944 at Dachua, and before she was shot in the head she yelled her last words "Liberte!" (Now that's someone I would have loved to know. I hope there are books written about her because I'm officially intrigued).

One of the most interesting stories was told kind of as a sidebar, but I would have loved to see a whole chapter. There was a princess who (in her 20s) told everyone that as a young girl she had swallowed a full size glass piano and it was still inside of her. She walked very carefully so as to keep the piano and therefore her insides, in tact. She was sent to a convent and became it's Abbess and was also a famous children's author. Which seems like a pretty happy ending for someone who thought they were toting around a piano in their gullet.

The book centers on the princesses but also on the men who love/tolerate/hate/marry them.The author describes one hapless husband as "as dumb as mittens on a cat". Which might be my new favorite insult ever. (I mean, it's cute and kind funny but not useful.)

I liked this book, I give it a  3 out of 5 stars. I'd be interested in someone with a psychology background's take on this book. There's a lot of abandonment issues floating around in this book and I wonder how that effected some of these women.The chapters were short, the content was amusing in it's telling even if a lot of it was sad.As a wrap up, I will give this advice. Never, ever make a baby with someone with whom you share a family tree.This will help you avoid so many problems!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for your comment. I'd love to talk books with you!