Review: Princess Behaving Badly – Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

17412780Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History – without the Fairy-Tale Endings by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

Publisher: Quirk Books (January 1, 2013)

Print Length: 303 pages

Audiobook Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins

Narrator: Cassandra Campbell

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. Empress Elizabeth of the Austro-Hungarian empire slept wearing a mask of raw veal. Princess Olga of Kiev murdered thousands of men, and Princess Rani Lakshmibai waged war on the battlefield, charging into combat with her toddler son strapped to her back. Princesses Behaving Badly offers minibiographies of all these princesses and dozens more. It’s a fascinating read for history buffs, feminists, and anyone seeking a different kind of bedtime story. 

The Review

While an interesting premise, Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History – without the Fairy-Tale Endings gloss over of a rag tag band of a variety of unconventional princesses just didn’t hit its mark for me.

Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History – without the Fairy-Tale Endings is a non-fiction novel that introduces the reader to women, both royal and otherwise, who don’t fit the mold as far as what we expect of a princess.

In order to fully understand why Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History – without the Fairy-Tale Endings didn’t get a higher rating from me, let me take you back to my beginnings with this book. I initially picked it up to have as a before bed read, given that the quick snappy chapters could be gobbled up in the half an hour it takes for me to be ready to sleep. However, I didn’t not account for my inability to figure out the pronunciation of many of the names, which I thought could have been avoided with a phonetic placed underneath the name, and as such I chose to stop reading until I received my monthly credits from Audible. Once I was listening to the book I found myself craving more history from certain princesses and the omission of others. While I have added several biographies of various worldly princesses mentioned in Princesses Behaving Badly I just had a feeling, by the end of the novel, that I was just reading summaries of people rather than learning why they were the way they were. Also, I found McRobbie’s tone to be rather off putting. Right from the introduction I was given the impression that because I liked Disney’s version of a princess I was wrong because real life is not how it is in animated films.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indigo

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And those are my thoughts on Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History – without the Fairy-Tale Endings by Linda Rodriquez McRobbie. Have any non-fiction recommendations you think I should check out? Leave them as a comment below and help my TBR grow.


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