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Princesses Behaving Badly Audiobook

Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings

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Publisher's Summary

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 mini-biographies of all these princesses and dozens more. It's a fascinating listen for history buffs, feminists, and anyone seeking a different kind of bedtime story.

©2013 Linda Rodriguez Mcrobbie (P)2013 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Campbell makes each princess's story engaging, and makes it crystal clear that while some did, indeed, behave badly--even inhumanely--others were just rebelling against impossible strictures…it's Campbell's impeccable narration that turns the book into something special." (AudioFile)

"Princess, diva, pain in the ass — all terms that resonate throughout Princesses Behaving Badly, which tells of royal terrors who make modern gossip queens seem as demure as Snow White." (New York Post)

"History has produced some very real, very dangerous ladies who make their movie and book counterparts seem lame by comparison. From Nazi spy to bloodthirsty killer, these women were not meek in any way. Heck, one of them even wore a mask of raw veal! You’ll find out all this and more in this little book of miniature biographies." (Geeks of Doom)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (137 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Troy 01-15-14
    Troy 01-15-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2436
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    Story
    "Rapid-Fire History"

    Think of this as the ultra-fast introduction to literally dozens of history's most famous, notorious, and interesting women. If you're looking for in-depth, move on. These mini-biographies are, instead, tailored to giving only the highlights. The result is that you learn a lot in a short period of time, and chances are there are many of these that will inspire you to dig deeper. The downside is that if you listen to this book in one or two sittings, some of these people will probably blend together. Solution: listen again. This is the no-frills, no subtleties, no boring bits of history for those times when you just need a lighter read. As much as I love the in-depth and nuanced tomes, sometimes I just need something fun. This book fits the bill.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Elizabeth Reynolds SUMMERVILLE, SC, United States 04-14-14
    Mary Elizabeth Reynolds SUMMERVILLE, SC, United States 04-14-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Princesses Researched Well"

    The author's aim in this book is to tear away the pinky froth of the Disney princess and replace it with, in most cases, a rather ugly reality. It's written with a witty tone, and somber when it is needed. Unlike some of the other collections I have read, it doesn't seem just to recycle old history, but uses current research as well. I'm anal retentive about history, and getting it right, and I found little to quibble with over this. Its spans a good millennia in the telling, but not chronologically rather by interesting categories, such as the warrior princesses. It's certainly not for young girls, maybe a mature teenage with a penchant for history.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    notamatopoeia 02-19-15
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    "Worth a Listen"
    Would you listen to Princesses Behaving Badly again? Why?

    I do think I will listen again. I feel like I may not have absorbed all the stories. I enjoyed listening the first time, and I expect I will enjoy it again.

    The book is grouped by topic, with stories of different women in various countries and time periods per topic. Interesting information, well conveyed.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Antionette 05-07-14
    Antionette 05-07-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My new favorite"
    What made the experience of listening to Princesses Behaving Badly the most enjoyable?

    The narrator does an excellent job and the content is very interesting.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The warrior princesses. It as all fantastic


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The same as the book


    Any additional comments?

    One of my new favorite audiobooks. I definitely recommend it.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 02-03-14
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 02-03-14 Member Since 2014
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    Story
    "ACTUALLY PRETTY INTERESTING"
    If you could sum up Princesses Behaving Badly in three words, what would they be?

    "A Great Ride"


    What did you like best about this story?

    I read a lot of different kinds of books, mostly historical. This book revealed a plethora of interesting women that history has overlooked because they were on the "shady side" of the truth. A lot of the books that I've listened to recently are about non-existent people who claim to be close intimates of actual famous historical figures. Like a fake lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn who was privy to secrets that somehow Philippa Gregory or Alison Weir missed. Or a fictional private eye in the early 20th century who ran with people like Huey Long, Amelia Earhart, President John Kennedy, Al Capone, Charles Lindbergh, Jimmy Hoffa, and Marilyn Monroe. I'd like to see the authors of those fictional history books use this bit of documented info about one of these "Princesses" and weave an interesting story that is both enlightening and entertaining.


    What does Cassandra Campbell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She has a pleasant non-regional voice that adds a great tongue-in-cheek quality to the story. You always get the impression that Ms. Campbell is "thisclose" to bursting out laughing over some of the outrageous antics of the "Princesses" and the gullibility of the people they make fools of.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Naw! It's not that kind of story. There ARE moments when I wanted to giggle though.


    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kel 03-04-15
    Kel 03-04-15
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    "Misleading Title"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Maybe, if they wanted a book about women leading armies into battle or ruling countries at a time when there weren't many.


    Would you recommend Princesses Behaving Badly to your friends? Why or why not?

    I just answered this question.


    Which character – as performed by Cassandra Campbell – was your favorite?

    There are a lot of pretty interesting women mentioned.


    Do you think Princesses Behaving Badly needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    The title implied to me that there would be stories about torrid affairs or horror stories of murder and betrayal. Instead it was just a book about women who ruled kingdoms or amassed armies. Not a bad book I guess, just not what I was hoping for. The narrator was great though.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 11-06-17
    Carolyn Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 11-06-17 Member Since 2012
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    "Great Stories for Adults"

    Stories about women are always a low priority in the study of history, even stories about women with high visibility and social status. Stories about women that avoid both demonizing them and romanticizing them excessively are even rarer. This book is an excellent collection of stories about women that could be considered “princesses”, regardless of the historical importance of that princess. The book tells interesting tales about princesses who led armies or who ruled empires as well as princesses who went broke or went crazy, all of which are treated factually as much as possible (with some editorializing that is a little contrived, but overall the narratives are well-written). The stories are diverse and engaging, and although I read a lot of history books, many of the women featured were people I’d never heard of. The book makes an effort to focus on human stories of more obscure women, regardless of their accomplishments or flaws, which makes it truly unique. The author tries to offer non-European “princesses”, and generally does that well, though it is still pretty Euro-centric.

    Although the introduction does talk about the need to contradict the Disney Princess idea with the reality of what a princess really is, do not make the mistake of thinking that this is a good book to read your princess-obsessed seven-year-old. The book deals in the realities of royal life and does not avoid discussing sex and violence (neither are excessively graphic but they are present). Not many of the stories would be age-appropriate to share with a kid under 12.

    The narration in this book was excellent; one of the best I’ve heard, even with all the non-English names and places.

    Overall, this was neither a repetitive nor a dull book about royalty. It provides an important perspective on historical women that makes them real and tangible as people rather than paragons of virtue or symbols of evil temptation. It is definitely worth the read and the other dimension it provides to traditional historical narratives about women in generally and princesses specifically.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt Mole Te Atatu Peninsula, Auckland New Zealand 05-08-17
    Matt Mole Te Atatu Peninsula, Auckland New Zealand 05-08-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Bad Princesses through history"

    Of course it largely depends on your definition of bad. A ride ranging set of stories and anecdotes from throughout world history of defiant, independent, mad, bad and dangerous to know princesses. Not all of them are happy endings. An excellent antidote to the Disney led "Industrial Princess Complex."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Montana 10-13-16
    Montana 10-13-16
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    "Good for traveling"

    Book was good for driving. Not too much to get caught up in, but still interesting. Chapters are very short.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miss E 12-11-15
    Miss E 12-11-15 Member Since 2015
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    76
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    "love love love"

    loved this book. so many amazing stories that do not glamorize what it is/was like to be princess

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Rebecca
    8/24/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enthralling"

    A truly fascinating and fast paced set of historical stories that draw you in at every turn. Worth every penny!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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