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Download Behind the Palace Doors: Five Centuries of Sex, Adventure, Vice, Treachery, and Folly from Royal Britain Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Behind the Palace Doors: Five Centuries of Sex, Adventure, Vice, Treachery, and Folly from Royal Britain Audiobook, by Michael Farquhar Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (427 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Farquhar Narrator: James Langton Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2011 ISBN: 9781452672960
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Beleaguered by scandal, betrayed by faithless spouses, bedeviled by ambitious children, the kings and queens of Great Britain have been many things, but they have never been dull. Some sacrificed everything for love, while others met a cruel fate at the edge of an axman's blade. Behind the Palace Doors features stories covering every monarch, from randy Henry VIII to reserved Elizabeth II; debunks historical myths; serves up surprising anecdotes; and covers four family trees spanning every royal house, from the Tudors to the Windsors. From the truth behind the supposed madness of King George to Queen Victoria's surprisingly daring taste in sculpture, Behind the Palace Doors ventures beyond the rumors to tell the unvarnished history of Britain's monarchs, highlighting the unique mix of tragedy, comedy, romance, heroism, and incompetence that has made the British throne a seat of such unparalleled fascination. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Farquhar’s style is a breezy pleasure throughout.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • A palatable, lively rendition of the British imperial blues. Kirkus
  • “This is a well-researched popular retelling of some outrageous periods in the lives of perennially intriguing rulers. A good selection for lighter history reading on the lives of British monarchs and really good scandals.”

    Library Journal

  • “Narrator James Langton lends his Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama cachet to transport the listener seamlessly to the British Isles…Fun for history buffs and those loving all things about the royals, especially the dirt.”

    Library Journal Starred Audio Review

  • “A palatable, lively rendition of the British imperial blues.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kathy Thomas | 2/13/2014

    " For those who are history buffs, not much new information . "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne | 1/20/2014

    " Good grief! Beheadings, adultery, banishments, parents hating children, children hating parents, siblings vs. siblings - the ultimate dysfunctional family! This book offers titillating stories about the English monarchs from Henry VIII to Elizabeth II. Some were more interesting than others, and original letters were quoted when available. By the 20th century, the Royal Family (except for wimpy Edward VIII) were behaving with some sense of decorum. It was a fun book to be reading when all eyes were on London last week! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kourtney | 1/17/2014

    " A short look at all of Britain's kings and queens over the past 500 years. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ainsley Thrasher | 1/14/2014

    " This book was both factual & a lot of fun too read. Though I was hoping the dirt on some of the monarchs, etc in this book would be juicier I definitely found all of it to be fascinating! A light reading history book that I really think anyone would enjoy & the chapters aren't so long that you can't get a good one or two in before bedtime. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie | 1/9/2014

    " Fun, easy read. I didn't remember a lot about many of these Kings and Queens and this was a fun refresher! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joe | 1/6/2014

    " If you look at the cover, you might think this is some cheesy tabloid trash, but it's actually a solid historical survey of the monarchs from the Tudors forward that doesn't overly dwell on the more prurient features of each person's reign. There's some sex, for sure, but what's most on display is the often mediocre, but thoroughly human behavior of the protagonists in all areas, from the bedroom to Parliament. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Shanna | 1/6/2014

    " Just couldn't get into it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jocelyn | 12/31/2013

    " A quick run-through of the scandals in reigns in Britain from Henry VIII to Elizabeth II. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 12/21/2013

    " Very good read! Didn't quite like the way it ended, but alas, is there much you can say about good Queen Bess. :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deborah | 9/25/2013

    " Not much that I didn't already know. I suppose it you are not familiar with the British monarchy this would be a good overview. Doesn't really go into depth on anyone. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nisha Jafari | 8/5/2013

    " Wanted to like it more. A bit hard to get through in places. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dana | 6/22/2013

    " Easy, entertaining read. Most of the stories weren't new, but some definitely put what I thought I knew in a different perspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill | 6/15/2013

    " This is history with all the fun parts left in and all the boring parts left out :)! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara | 6/11/2013

    " Fun reading in the wake of the royal wedding - filled with intrigue and beheadings and lots of cheating! The first half most people will already know about (henry VIII, Cromwell etc) but the second half was pretty fun. It goes all the way up to Elizabeth II. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Unger | 4/6/2013

    " Too much inbreeding in the "royals." And people think all the weirdness in our lives is a recent phenomena. Nope. It's been around a LONG time, boys and girls. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 3/3/2013

    " Scintillating and scandalous look inside the "castle doors" of all the mischief from Henry VIII to Elizabeth II (quite the clean living with her!). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 7/10/2012

    " A fairly light and fairly witty overview of the Royals and their dysfunctional ways from the Tudors to today. The Stuart dynasty was particularly interesting as they are rarely profiled. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Alice | 5/29/2012

    " Boring. There was a lot of potential, but it's basically a recitation of facts and not written in an interesting/grabbing manner. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 5/22/2012

    " Pretty interesting book about the kings and queens of England -- they were not a moral bunch. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendi Olson | 5/9/2012

    " Very much enjoyed the scandalous history of the royals. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 4/17/2012

    " Michael Farquhar has done it again. Sifting through the long history of British rulers, Farquhar weaves quite a tale, full of adultery, torture, and plain idiocy. A fun, informative read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pat Baratta | 11/20/2011

    " Another winner!! A relatively fast read. Learned something of British history I did not know, but if I did not know these facts, it would not matter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Connie Fischer | 7/19/2011

    " A cute book with lots of gossipy bits and pieces about different royals throughout the ages. A rather quick read for a nice laugh. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara | 5/25/2011

    " Fun reading in the wake of the royal wedding - filled with intrigue and beheadings and lots of cheating! The first half most people will already know about (henry VIII, Cromwell etc) but the second half was pretty fun. It goes all the way up to Elizabeth II. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 5/15/2011

    " Scintillating and scandalous look inside the "castle doors" of all the mischief from Henry VIII to Elizabeth II (quite the clean living with her!). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pat | 4/13/2011

    " Another winner!! A relatively fast read. Learned something of British history I did not know, but if I did not know these facts, it would not matter. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer | 4/2/2011

    " This was a great book about the english monarchs. It was different then traditional history by showcasing scandals, kind of like a people/ok magazine history. I loved it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeremy | 3/30/2011

    " fun little read. Not nearly as much treachery as I'd hoped for, if I'm being honest. Nearly all of the stories are pretty well known. I was hoping for some new treacheries. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristina | 3/23/2011

    " I was disappointed by this book. I was expecting some really raunchy, dark secrets about the Royal Family through the years. None of these secrets were new to me and they weren't the dirty ones I was hoping for. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendi | 3/20/2011

    " Very much enjoyed the scandalous history of the royals. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 3/1/2011

    " I just love all things monarchy, especially the British one. Perfect read for the Royal Wedding week. "

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About the Author
Michael Farquhar, a former writer and editor at The Washington Post, is the bestselling author of the critically praised Behind the Palace Doors, as well as the national bestsellers A Treasury of Royal Scandals, A Treasury of Great American Scandals, A Treasury of Deception, and A Treasury of Foolishly Forgotten Americans. His work has been featured in a number of national publications, and he has appeared as a commentator on such programs as History’s top-rated Russia: Land of the Tsars and The French Revolution.
About the Narrator

James Langton trained as an actor at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. An AudioFile Earphones Award winner, he has performed many voice-overs and narrated numerous audiobooks, including the international bestsellers The Brotherhood of the Holy Shroud by Julia Navarro, The Virtues of War by Steven Pressfield, and The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan. He is also a professional musician who led the internationally renowned Pasadena Roof Orchestra from 1996 to 2002. He was born in York, England, and is now based in New York City.