Why is it that we can never seem to get enough gossip about celebrities and their relationships (especially when they go belly-up)? We seem obsessed with reality TV shows, supermarket tabloids, and the blind items that dot Page Six of the New York Post. For some reason, love gone wrong seems even more exciting—and juicier—than stories of happily-ever-after.
My fourth nonfiction volume about royal lives, ROYAL ROMANCES, offered readers a number of real-life love stories, from happy marriages to tales of royal mistresses who were the sovereign’s true Grand Passion.
So, with the fifth book in the “royal” series, I decided that it was time to spin the wheel 180 degrees and choose to shine the spotlight on some of the numerous disastrous royal unions throughout the ages. INGLORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES: A Demi-millennium of Unholy Mismatrimony spans five hundred years of mismatches, opening with the marriage of England’s Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou during the era known as the Cousins’ War (later called, and better known as the Wars of the Roses) and closing with the marriages of two sisters, granddaughters of Queen Victoria, who were related to all of the principal players in what was initially nicknamed The War of Cousins (later called and better known as The Great War, The War to End All Wars—neither of which it was, sadly—and World War I).
As with all of the “royal” books, there was an embarrassment of riches when it came to selecting whom to include. The royals in INGLORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES are inter-generationally linked, like a dysfunctional daisy chain. Although readers may cherry-pick their favorites and enjoy the chapters out of order, reading the book straight through provides a historical continuum, reminding us that while the more things may change in terms of warfare, fashion, and technology, when it comes to marriage, the more they stay the same.