Karyn L. Barr
July 16, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

By now, most people know that Prince Charles showed Camilla Parker-Bowles his crown jewels while married to Princess Di. But did you know that Charles’ great-great-grandfather King Edward VII frequently rolled in the hay with Camilla’s great-grandmother Alice Keppel? Journalist Herman bares all the hot and heavy details about the lewd lives of royal lovers, whimsically exploring the sexual and political power that these (typically) commoners wielded over Europe’s horniest kings — not to mention its emperors, princes, and dukes. While Herman’s rehashing tends to bog down in dates, lineages, and needlessly elaborate court descriptions, the addictively good dish is worth, if not a king’s ransom, then at least the hardcover’s price tag.

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