320 pages, 8 × 5.22 × 0.65 in
March 1, 2011
Random House Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0812979044
ISBN - 13: 9780812979046
About the Book
Spanning 500 years of British history, "Behind the Palace Doors" offers a revealing look at the secret lives of some great (and not-so-great) Britons, courtesy of one of the world's most engaging royal historians.
Read from the Book
1Henry VIII (1509–1547): Up the Stairs, Pulled by an EngineThe King was now overgrown with corpulency and fatness.—Edward HallBy 1540, Henry VIII had discarded his first wife, Katherine of Aragon, and beheaded his second, Anne Boleyn, on a false charge of adultery. He also married his third wife, Jane Seymour, who died right after giving Henry the son he had desired all along. Now—as the king grew monstrously obese—three more wives were in for the royal treatment.Henry VIII was huge; a colossus who dominated not only his era but, as he grew heavier, his horse as well. The poor beast was on the losing end of the chunky king’s decision to don his plus-sized armor, saddle up, and lead his English forces into battle against France in 1544. “It was no longer a glorious young prince who was to lead his Englishmen toward Boulogne,” wrote Antonia Fraser, “but an unwieldy invalid who had to be winched aboard his horse with his armour cut away from his swollen leg.”Miserable as it must have been for the horse to have the obese monarch bouncing on top of it, so much worse it was for Henry’s teenaged queen, Catherine Howard, when she found herself in the same position. Henry was pushing fifty when he married for the fifth time, a bloated tyrant with badly ulcerated legs that left the once vigorously athletic monarch largely immobile and subject to savage bouts of temper.“The King was now overgrown with corpulency and fatness,” reported the contemporary chronicler Edward Hall, “so that h
From the Publisher
Spanning 500 years of British history, a revealing look at the secret lives of some great (and not-so-great) Britons, courtesy of one of the world’s most engaging royal historians
Beleaguered by scandal, betrayed by faithless spouses, bedeviled by ambitious children, the kings and queens of Great Britain have been many things, but they have never been dull. Some sacrificed everything for love, while others met a cruel fate at the edge of an axman’s blade. From the truth behind the supposed madness of King George to Queen Victoria’s surprisingly daring taste in sculpture, Behind the Palace Doors ventures beyond the rumors to tell the unvarnished history of Britain’s monarchs, highlighting the unique mix of tragedy, comedy, romance, heroism, and incompetence that has made the British throne a seat of such unparalleled fascination.
• stories covering every monarch, from randy Henry VIII to reserved Elizabeth II
• historical myths debunked and surprising “Did you know . . . ?” anecdotes
• four family trees spanning every royal house, from the Tudors to the Windsors