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Test Your Royal Wits: Crack Codes, Solve Mysteries, and Deduce Which Royal Rumors Are True

by Carlyn Beccia & illustrated by Carlyn Beccia

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-618-89130-6

Riding in on the coattails of the Horrible Histories and their ilk, here’s a Tudor-centric set of historical rumors that Beccia breezily substantiates, dispels or leaves for readers to mull. Along with some of the usual suspects—was Prince Dracula a real vampire (conclusion: real, yes; vampire, no), did Richard III murder his nephews (“You decide”), did Mary Queen of Scots plot to kill Queen Elizabeth (“Unconfirmed”)—the author offers such juicy morsels as the supposition that Louis XIV bathed but thrice in his life (false), Napoleon was a squirt (not really) and Marie Antoinette said “Let them eat cake” (also false). Despite unusually careless proofing, this makes a proper anodyne for staid conventional textbooks. A rich array of comically caricatured figures in elaborate period dress heightens the humor, and though Elizabeth I gets a disproportionate amount of attention here, readers will also come away with a notion or two about Peter the Great, Catherine the Great and several lesser celebrities from centuries past. (resource lists) (Nonfiction. 10-12)