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The Royal Art of Poison Reviews

The Royal Art of Poison by Eleanor Herman

The Royal Art of Poison

Fatal Cosmetics, Deadly Medicines and Murder Most Foul

Eleanor Herman

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Duckworth
Publisher: Prelude
Publication date: 20 Sep 2018
ISBN: 9780715653128

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.

  • Daily MailBook of the Week
4 stars out of 5
Roger Lewis
27 Dec 2018

"Gripping... truly scary"

Indeed, if there are villains to be found, they are practitioners of the medical profession. Their treatments were more dangerous than illness itself — sulphuric acid enemas; quicksilver rubbed into ulcers; laxatives known as ‘thunder-clappers’; and the pointless and excessive cupping and bleeding.

Nevertheless, while it is gripping to be told King Herod had ‘gangrenous private parts’, Salisbury’s recent dramas do show poisoning can’t be shut away in a Hammer House Of Horrors quite yet...


4 stars out of 5

"Agatha Christie’s spirit must be loving this poisonous new historical entertainment"

Agatha Christie’s spirit must be loving this poisonous new historical entertainment. Eleanor Herman has already enjoyed the success of Sex with Kings and Sex with the Queen, thoroughly researched, gossipy revelations of promiscuity among monarchs and their noble retainers during the Renaissance. She is an American author and broadcaster, born in Baltimore, now living in Virginia, but, at 58, she still concentrates her professional attention on the historic immorality and disastrous vulnerability of western European royalty