Love Letters of Kings & Queens review 👑 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
First of all, thank you so much for @quercusbooks for sending me a gifted copy of this book, I don’t think I’ve ever been quite so excited for the post to arrive.
This collection of love letters sent between royals offers such intimate glimpses that at times it feels like you shouldn’t be reading them. The letters are full of the drama, gossip, and scandal that you might expect, but also showcase the most natural human emotions and how these were heightened by their playing out on the political and international stage.
Each section of letters is masterfully put into context by Daniel Smith’s introductions which somehow manage to concisely provide all of the key information you need to know about each of the monarch’s reigns in just a matter of pages.
I found it so hard to pick favourites from this collection but highlights include the letters sent between Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson in the dramatic lead up to his abdication and the gushing love letters of Catherine the Great to her lover Grigory Potemkin, one of which begins with the words ‘Be fair to yourself: could I love someone after you? I think there’s no one like you, and I don’t give a damn about everyone else…’
The letters also shine a light on how powerless royal women could be and there are some particularly heart wrenching moments in the letter appealing to Henry VIII written by Catherine Howard after she was accused of having an affair (for which she is eventually executed) and in the letters by Caroline of Brunswick to George IV in which she begs the King to allow her more time to see her daughter.
Finally to finish up, one of my favourite quotes from Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn: ‘For what joy can be greater upon Earth, than to have the company of her who is my dearest friend? […] You may judge what an effect the presence of that person must have on me, whose absence has made a greater wound in my heart than either words or writing can express, and which nothing can cure, but her return’.
QOD: Have you read any good historical books recently? 📖