Cupid and the King: Five Royal Paramours

Written by HRH Princess Michael of Kent
Review by Lisa Ann Verge

This reprinted collection of biographies varies in one way from the original: the author, having written a whole book about Diane de Poitiers, has removed her from this version. Quite a cast of characters remain: the baseborn Nell Gwyn, Restoration favorite of Charles II of England; the Marquise de Pompadour, accomplished art collector who charmed King Louis XV; Marie Waleska, the beautiful Polish patriot who bore Emperor Napoleon a son; the whip-wielding Lola Montez, whose power over the Bavarian king ultimately led to his abdication; and the tomboyish beauty Lillie Langtry, who spent a lot of time with Queen Victoria’s heir. Though quite romanticized, these short biographies about unconventional women are brisk, informative, and highly entertaining.