The Royal Art of Poison

The Royal Art of Poison

Filthy Palaces, Fatal Cosmetics, Deadly Medicine, and Murder Most Foul

Book - 2018
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Traces the use of poison as a political--and cosmetic--tool in the royal courts of Western Europe from the Middle Ages to the Kremlin today.
Publisher: New York :, St. Martin's Press,, 2018
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781250140869
Branch Call Number: 364.152 HER
Characteristics: xiii, 286 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations ; 24 cm


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Dec 08, 2018

A pretty quick and fun read, blends some cool new forensics with historical accounts.

I have to warn you it's so absolutely disguisting you might wonder at some point if there was ever a time in the renaissance where people weren't puking up worms or having their teeth fall out at all!!!

SnoIsleLib_EmilyZ Oct 30, 2018

A fabulous, fascinating guide to the weird world of historical celebrity poisonings that will make you think twice about pursuing time travel. The details of drawn out deaths, poisons used, poisoners, and paranoid preventative steps taken to avoid being poisoned are creepy and captivating.

SkokieStaff_Steven Sep 12, 2018

Some titles over promise and some under promise. Eleanor Herman’s “The Royal Art of Poison: Filthy Palaces, Fatal Cosmetics, Deadly Medicine, and Murder Most Foul” under promises. While the book does indeed include many stories of real or apparent royal poisonings, it offers much more than that. It opens with a survey of poisons in general and a discussion of the ways in which people in the past inadvertently poisoned themselves through poor sanitation and misguided cosmetic or medical procedures. These chapters, not for the squeamish, are frequently laugh-out-loud funny as Herman sees the risible in the revolting. She follows this by examining specific cases in which people associated with royalty might have been intentionally poisoned. Here she stretches the word “royal” very thin to include people like Caravaggio or Mozart who have only a tenuous connection to royal courts. Herman is so entertaining that few readers will begrudge her inclusiveness that eventually extends to Vladimir Putin’s modern revival of the art of political poisoning.

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