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The Royal Art of Poison

Fatal Cosmetics, Deadly Medicines and Murder Most Foul
Narrated by: Joan Walker
Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins

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Publisher's 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 lead. Physicians prescribed mercury enemas, arsenic skin cream, drinks of lead filings and potions of human fat and skull, fresh from the executioner. 

The Royal Art of Poison is a hugely entertaining work of popular history that traces the use of poison as a political - and cosmetic - tool in the royal courts of Western Europe from the Middle Ages to the Kremlin today. 

©2018 Eleanor Herman (P)2019 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A macabre and entertaining romp...Herman writes vividly and with great humor, combining detailed research with easy narrative, making her book both enthralling and sinister." (The Washington Times)

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