The Royal Art of Poison: Filthy Palaces, Fatal Cosmetics, Deadly Medicine, and Murder Most Foul by Eleanor Herman @EleanorHerman @StMartin’sPress #historical @absltmom #yaya_reads #giveaway

Happy Wednesday Everyone. I am so very excited to be participating in my very first blog tour. Thank you so very much to Clare Mauer, and Eleanor Herman for this opportunity.

Did you ever wish that you lived in times long gone? Did you ever think about how glorious it would have been being a king or queen or someone whose voice was heard down through the ages? Imagine dressing in those clothes, being in the regal company with leaders and those who influenced the times? Imagine that you are one of them? Well, perhaps the glory you have imagined is all an illusion!

The Royal Art of Poison: Filthy Palaces, Fatal Cosmetics, Deadly Medicine, and Murder Most Foul

4 fascinating stars  Index of /2011/08/17/uploads/pics

Eleanor Herman has written a truly intriguing book about the times in the past where poisons were used at will by those who wanted to get rid of a ruler, a lover, or even a competitor. She brings to this story, the actual cases of people who were poisoned and didn’t live to see many more days, oftentimes dying in agony.  There were ways that one could be poisoned be it arsenic, lead, or some other cocktail which left you writhing in pain for sometimes days until you succumbed to the poison. To combat this, many employed tasters, a job that sounds like so much fun, or that wonderful tool known as the unicorn horn, or even some concoctions which were often tried on prisoners to gauge their effectiveness which in most cases were nil. and…..if that wasn’t enough….

The men and women loved to adorn themselves with cosmetics. Want a whiter complexion, be a success in court, persuade someone to fall in love, well they had a method for that. They would use cosmetics laden with arsenic, lead, body secretions etc. to achieve the desired result. So, in essence, if someone was not trying to poison you, you yourself did a wonderful job of doing so.

Ever see some of those fabulous portraits where people were adorned in luxury? If you looked behind those portraits at the people, you would find many of those same wealthy endowed people were also “endowed”  with lice, fleas, and bedbugs. For, you see, the conditions in these castles were deplorable. They were rat infested, where vermin roamed (both the human and the bacterial form), and the glitterati used the corners of the hallways for their bathroom privileges allowing more disease to infest the walls you lived within. Is it any wonder the life expectancy was so low? ..and then there were the doctors who bled you and fed you remedies that did more harm then good. The phrase “do no harm” was not their mantra.

Ms Herman wrote the real of life in times past. It was no life of fun and frolic as has often been pictured in movies and books. It was a life filled with filth and other dastardly occurrences. We would like to think that the life of then was over, that the poisonings were a things of the past, but that is hardly true as Ms Herman informs the reader of more modern poisoning. Plutonium anyone?

So, in many ways this was a harrowing tale. However, it was also thought provoking, fascinating, and compelling. I definitely recommend it to anyone who loves to learn about the past, learn about things they never told you in school, and find yourself among those who are happy they live in the times they do.

Thanks once again to Eleanor Herman and St Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read this engrossing book.

I do have a copy of this book offered by St Martin’s Press should you, too, want to be informed about the life of the privileged of a bygone era so please let me know and I will randomly select a winner. 

Eleanor Herman Herman offers a rare combination of skills for a historian – her research is intensely scholarly, yet she writes the story in a colorful, witty manner. “History is so fascinating that it never has to be presented in a boring way,” she explains. “These were flesh and blood people, just like you and me, facing war and plague, falling in love, living among splendid art and gut-wrenching poverty. Sometimes people ask me if I plan to write novels. And I say, with all the things that really happened, who needs to make stuff up?”


4 thoughts on “The Royal Art of Poison: Filthy Palaces, Fatal Cosmetics, Deadly Medicine, and Murder Most Foul by Eleanor Herman @EleanorHerman @StMartin’sPress #historical @absltmom #yaya_reads #giveaway

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s