‘I shall be an autocrat: that’s my trade. And the good Lord will forgive me: that’s his.’ —Catherine the Great
To many, Europe was the pinnacle of world sophistication and culture for several centuries. Yet beneath the power, the glamour, and the splendour there has also been scandal, mystery and skullduggery. Kings & Queens of Europe: A Dark History peels away the glory and the glitz to take a wry look at what has really gone on in the corridors, bedrooms and dungeons of European power from the fourteenth century up to the present day. Including Vlad the Impaler’s stakes, Elizabeth Bathory’s razor blades, Philip IV’s starvation of the Knights Templars, the Man in the Iron Mask, many mad monarchs from Juana I the Mad of Spain to Ludwig II of Bavaria, and the troubled life of Princess Grace of Monaco, Kings & Queens of Europe: A Dark History, is illustrated throughout and offers a lively, highly varied portrait of continental European monarchy.