Royal Mistresses

Charles Carlton, Author Routledge $0 (198p) ISBN 978-0-415-00769-6
Carlton, who teaches history at North Carolina State University, eschews titillation in this sober, scholarly tour of Britain's royal bedrooms going back to that nation's early centuries. Anne Boleyn's conquest of Henry VIII, he reminds us, produced the Reformation and the great Queen Elizabeth. Mistresses, in the author's lexicon, include gay companions as well, among them those of Edward II (1307-1327) and of the 16th century's James I, ``England's most promiscuously homosexual king.'' In our own more tolerant age, Prince Charles's premarital relationships created interest but not scandal, and the bachelor escapades of brother ``Randy Andy'' amused rather than alarmed the Crown's subjects. If royals throughout history have been favored with a pick of sexual partners, unquestionably, as the author wryly observes, ``power is the great aphrodisiac.'' Illustrated. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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