A history of heartbreak-replete with beheadings, uprisings, creepy sex dolls, and celebrity gossip-and its disastrously bad consequences throughout time
Spanning eras and cultures from ancient Rome to medieval England to 1950s Hollywood, Jennifer Wright's It Ended Badly guides you through the worst of the worst in historically bad breakups. In the throes of heartbreak, Emperor Nero had just about everyone he ever loved-from his old tutor to most of his friends-put to death. Oscar Wilde's lover, whom he went to jail for, abandoned him when faced with being cut off financially from his wealthy family and wrote several self-serving books denying the entire affair. And poor volatile Caroline Lamb sent Lord Byron one hell of a torch letter and enclosed a bloody lock of her own pubic hair. Your obsessive social media stalking of your ex isn't looking so bad now, is it?
With a wry wit and considerable empathy, Wright digs deep into the archives to bring these thirteen terrible breakups to life. She educates, entertains, and really puts your own bad breakup conduct into perspective. It Ended Badly is for anyone who's ever loved and lost and maybe sent one too many ill-considered late-night emails to their ex, reminding us that no matter how badly we've behaved, no one is as bad as Henry VIII.
Journalist Wright debuts with this delightful, high-concept collection of essays. Presented as a self-help manual for the newly single, the book consists of funny, irreverent entries, each devoted to a different famous breakup, from ancient Rome (Nero and Poppea) to the 20th century (Liz Taylor, Debbie Reynolds, and Eddie Fisher). The grim personal details, presented to hilarious effect in pieces with titles like "If You Were Dumped, Read About Edith Wharton and Morton Fullerton," will make the reader want to delve further into the history, especially when they learn that Anna Ivanova, Empress of Russia, forced her jester to dress like a chicken and pretend to lay eggs when visitors arrived. According to the author, the past is "not that different and certainly not any better" than the present, relationship-wise. Most people go through breakups during which they feel and act terribly. Looking to history provides reassurance that this "is almost never the defining moment of one's life." The book teaches even as it entertains, and applies modern psychology to the behavior of its subjects, providing both amusement and consolation to people likely in need of both.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I learned about this book while reading a breakup article in a magazine and thought it would be a good read, I was wrong. To be fair I've only gotten past the first few chapters but that's because that's all I could bear to read. This book is about famous history figures and their break ups. It is meant to be humorous but greatly misses the mark.