If you have any interest in learning more about the lives of royal mistresses, then you must read “Sex with Kings: 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge” by Eleanor Herman. She also has a book called “Sex with the Queen: 900 Years of Vile Kings, Virile Lovers, and Passionate Politics” for those who want to know more about the lovers Queens took. I found this book so fascinating that I plan to eventually read “Sex with the Queen” as well. I read this book over a few sessions to give myself time to absorb all the information. This book is well written without the dry, stuffy text that some non-fiction books suffer from.
The only historical royal mistress I could name before reading this book was Anne Boleyn, who is in fact mentioned in the book. This book taught me everything I hoped to learn and then some. It focuses on a handful of mistresses, like Madame de Pompadour who was the official chief mistress of Louis XV from 1745 to 1751. However, Lesser known mistresses are also mentioned, including a few that last a year or less along with what we know about them. But a few like Madame Pompadour are repeatedly mentioned throughout, so they are the ones that stuck with me due to how much information was known about them and how fascinating their lives and the end of their reign as mistress was. Continue reading