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The royal art of poison : filthy palaces, fatal cosmetics, deadly medicine, and murder most foul / Eleanor Herman.

Available copies

  • 4 of 4 copies available at Sage Library System.

Current holds

0 current holds with 4 total copies.

Summary:

The story of poison is the story of power. For centuries, royal families have feared the gut-roiling, vomit-inducing agony of a little something added to their food or wine by an enemy. To avoid poison, they depended on tasters, unicorn horns, and antidotes tested on condemned prisoners. Servants licked the royal family's spoons, tried on their underpants and tested their chamber pots. Ironically, royals terrified of poison were unknowingly poisoning themselves daily with their cosmetics, medications, and filthy living conditions. Women wore makeup made with mercury and lead. Men rubbed turds on their bald spots. Physicians prescribed mercury enemas, arsenic skin cream, drinks of lead filings, and potions of human fat and skull, fresh from the executioner. The most gorgeous palaces were little better than filthy latrines. Gazing at gorgeous portraits of centuries past, we don't see what lies beneath the royal robes and the stench of unwashed bodies; the lice feasting on private parts; and worms nesting in the intestines. In The Royal Art of Poison, Eleanor Herman combines her unique access to royal archives with cutting-edge forensic discoveries to tell the true story of Europe's glittering palaces: one of medical bafflement, poisonous cosmetics, ever-present excrement, festering natural illness, and, sometimes, murder.
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Circulation Modifier Age Hold Protection Active/Create Date Status Due Date
Baker Haines Branch 364.152309224 .H551r 2018 (Text) 37814003458933 NON-FICTION - NEW Book None 06/07/2019 Available -
Cook Memorial Library - La Grande 364.152 H551 (Text) 35178001698664 Adult Non-Fiction Book None 09/04/2018 Available -
Southern Wasco County Library 364.152 HER (Text) 33892005841144 NON-FICTION Book None 07/18/2018 Available -
The Dalles Wasco County Library 364.152 HER (Text) 33892006334479 NON-FICTION Book None 06/09/2018 Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781250140869
  • ISBN: 1250140862
  • Physical Description: xiii, 286 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of color plates : color illustrations, portraits ; 25 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2018.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 269-277) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Introduction -- Poison, poison, everywhere -- Poison from the banquet table to the royal underpants -- Unicorn horns and rooster dung : poison detectors and antidotes -- Dying to be beautiful : dangerous cosmetics -- Murderous medicine : mercury enemas and rat turd elixirs -- Putrid palaces : a poisoned environment -- The poison chronicles : where rumors of royal poisoning meet scientific analysis -- Henry VII of Luxembourg, Holy Roman Emperor, 1275-1313 -- Cangrande della Scala, Italian warlord, 1291-1329 -- Agnes Sorel, mistress of King Charles VII of France, 1422-1450 -- Edward VI, king of England, 1537-1553 -- Jeanne d'Albret, Queen of Navarre, 1528-1572 -- Eric XIV, King of Sweden, 1533-1577 -- Ivan IV, the Terrible, Czar of Russia, 1530-1584; his mother, Elena Glinskaya, ca. 1510-1538; and his first wife, Anastasia Romanovna, 1530-1560 -- Grand Duke Francesco de Medici of Tuscany, 1541-1587, and Grand Duchess Bianca Cappello, 1548-1587 -- Gabrielle d'Estrees, mistress of King Henri IV of France, 1573-1599 -- Tycho Brahe, astronomer and imperial mathematician, 1546-1601 -- Michelangelo de Merisi, known as Caravaggio, artist to Italy's elite, 1572-1610 -- Henry Stuart, prince of Wales, 1594-1612 -- Sir Thomas Overbury, royal adviser at the court of James I, 1581-1613 -- Princess Henrietta Stuart of England, Duchesse d'Orleans, 1644-1670 -- Mademoiselle de Fontanges, mistress of Louis XIV of France, 1661-1680, and the affair of the poisons -- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, imperial court musician, 1756-1791-- Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France, 1769-1821 -- Poison in the modern era -- Scientific advances in the Victorian age -- The democratization of poison -- Modern medicis : the rebirth of political poison -- Pick your poison -- The poison hall of fame.
Summary, etc.:
The story of poison is the story of power. For centuries, royal families have feared the gut-roiling, vomit-inducing agony of a little something added to their food or wine by an enemy. To avoid poison, they depended on tasters, unicorn horns, and antidotes tested on condemned prisoners. Servants licked the royal family's spoons, tried on their underpants and tested their chamber pots. Ironically, royals terrified of poison were unknowingly poisoning themselves daily with their cosmetics, medications, and filthy living conditions. Women wore makeup made with mercury and lead. Men rubbed turds on their bald spots. Physicians prescribed mercury enemas, arsenic skin cream, drinks of lead filings, and potions of human fat and skull, fresh from the executioner. The most gorgeous palaces were little better than filthy latrines. Gazing at gorgeous portraits of centuries past, we don't see what lies beneath the royal robes and the stench of unwashed bodies; the lice feasting on private parts; and worms nesting in the intestines. In The Royal Art of Poison, Eleanor Herman combines her unique access to royal archives with cutting-edge forensic discoveries to tell the true story of Europe's glittering palaces: one of medical bafflement, poisonous cosmetics, ever-present excrement, festering natural illness, and, sometimes, murder. --Provided by publisher.
Subject: Poisoning > Europe > Biography.
Poisoning > Europe > History.
Murder victims > Europe > Biography.
Homicide > Europe > Biography.

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