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Publisher's Summary

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. Behind the Palace Doors features stories covering every monarch, from randy Henry VIII to reserved Elizabeth II; debunks historical myths; serves up surprising anecdotes; and covers four family trees spanning every royal house, from the Tudors to the Windsors.

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.

©2011 Michael Farquhar (P)2011 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A palatable, lively rendition of the British imperial blues." ( Kirkus)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • SALINAS, CA, United States
  • 03-17-12

Better to barrow your child's history book

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone stranded on a deserted island.

What could Michael Farquhar have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Lighten it up...it's way to serious for the tittle he gave the book.

Which scene was your favorite?

I liked [not loved mind you, but liked] the chapter about Elizabeth I.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It was factual. The narrator was very good.

Any additional comments?

It's not that the book was poorly written; on the contrary, but, the tittle was extremely mis-leading. I thought the book would be more whimsical, comical, even sarcastic, but it wasn't; it simply read like a history book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Sharon
  • Watauga, TX, United States
  • 08-25-11

Don't waste your money

If you know absolutely zero about the British Monarchy, you might like this. However, if you are well versed in the monarchy, you should pass. This is one of the most boring books I ever heard. As a matter of fact, I did not go past Chapter 1. Chapter 1 took less than 30 minutes to listen to and covered the Wars of the Roses, Henry VII and Henry VIII. I can talk about what I know about Henry VIII alone and spend over 30 minutes. It is very much like a survey course. He hits the high points, but really doesn't go into any detail or discussion. I was very disappointed and would not recomment this to anyone.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • sara
  • Liberal, KS, United States
  • 10-21-17

History made fun

I didn't expect to find myself so enthralled by this book! I highly recommend it to anyone who has ever found the British succession of monarchs confusing.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

All Common Knowledge

If you only know a little bit of British history, you know 95% of what is presented here. If you don’t enjoy history, you probably won’t be interested in learning it here.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Pure Entertainment

I liked it because it was a compilation of good stories from history. Historical buffs might have an issue with its lack of depth; it's the British monarchy version of saying "The Civil War was about slavery." That being said, the book had an excellent reader and gave me the entertainment level i wanted. I certainly got inspiration to read more aboit figures like Churchill and James II.