Book Review: Princesses behaving badly

“Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful princess who wasn’t afraid to cheat, deceive, seduce, or murder anyone who got in her way…”


Face it, history is written by old white Christian men who cry: “h oho ho why can’t things be like the simpler times like in 1634???” And it’s boring. I love history, it’s the best thing to ever happen to me, but personally I am tired about hearing all the achievements of “great” men, and the women are just forgotten. Then I found this book, and it was the best thing to ever happen to me.

The book, like the title says, is about princesses, but not just any princesses, no. It’s all about princesses from around the world (yes for diversity!) who did something, or didn’t do anything but got punished anyways. The book is divided into seven chapters; warriors, usurpers, schemers, survivors, partiers, floozies, madwomen. The chapters themselves have a few stories about different princesses. There is a short introduction of each of them, and then follows their story.
The book doesn’t  only follow  “historically known” princesses (like Elisabeth of Austria), but also some that, I personally, never heard of, such as Njinga of Ndongo. Which is always a huge plus.
The historic content is huge too. Some princesses are from the 5th century BC, but others are a late as the 1980s!

When you read some of the older stories, the author mentions that the original scripts tell almost nothing about the women, their motives, their ideas, their feelings. They tell more about the “brave men” that change these women back to good women that do their woman’s duties. And she bashes these authors for it. It’s a refreshing feminist outlook on it, which is so much needed.

Throughout history (and often still) women have always been seen as inferior, but this book shows how REAL princesses were. Not forgotten, the real deal. The real, human, princesses. With feelings, with brains, with desires and with dreams. It’s amazing. This is by far my favourite book and I recommend it to everyone.

Website of the author Linda Rodriquez McRobbie


You can get this book here.

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