Mad Kings & Queens

History's Most Famous Raving Royals

By Alison Rattle; Allison Vale
(Sterling, Paperback, 9781402763069, 144pp.)

Publication Date: August 2008

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Throughout history, some royal rulers were wise and just; others, well, they were just plain loony. From the inbred and mentally deficient to the delusional and the criminally insane, those royal eccentrics come to life here. Some are well-known, like “Ivan the Terrible” of Russia, who enjoyed torturing both animals and people for sport. Others were less famous, but no less twisted, including Hungary’s Erzsebet Bathory, who believed she could improve her complexion by bathing in the blood of young girls. And before he became an unhinged sultan at age 25, Mustafa I of Turkey was kept in a cage by his ruling brother. Some 40 mad rulers are profiled in all, making this the greatest collection of raving royals ever assembled.

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