To Be a Princess: The Fascinating Lives of Real Princesses

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9780060001599: To Be a Princess: The Fascinating Lives of Real Princesses

Princesses live in splendid palaces with servants to grant their every wish....Or do they? Here the stories of twelve real princesses reveal what life behind the palace walls is really like."This night I think to die, declares Elizabeth Tudor as she shivers in the Tower of London in 1554. Her half sister, Queen Mary, sees her as a rival to the throne. But Elizabeth survives, and in four more years, she is queen.Two hundred years later, fourteen-year-old Marie Antoinette of Austria is told she will marry the heir to the French throne, whom she hasn't even met. She could never have imagined that the crowds who cheer her and her young husband will one day cry out for their blood.Princess Victoria is eleven when she learns she will someday become England's queen. Princess Ka'iulani of Hawai'i is told just the opposite. "You will never be queen," whispers her dying mother in an eerie prophecyFor Anastasia and her three sisters, daughters of the Tsar of Russia, home is a beautiful palace surrounded by gardens and lakes. But war and revolution will shatter their sheltered world forever.The world will also change for Ayesha Devi, daughter of an Indian maharaja, and for Elizabeth and Margaret Rose, the two little princesses of 1930s' Great Britain. And they change with it, setting the style that is followed by the princesses of today.Throughout this handsome book, elegant portraits and period artifacts and photographs complement the story of each princess and recreate the worlds in which they lived. Together, the lives of these young royal women tell a story more fascinating than any fairy tale.

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About the Author:

Hugh Brewster is the award-winning author of Anastasia's Album and Inside the Titanic, and the co-author of 882 1/2 Amazing Answers To Your Questions About the Titanic with Laurie Coulter.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 4 Up-Students and teachers alike will appreciate the research and literate style of this unusual approach to collective biography. The authors have chosen to focus on 12 royals-some well known, others more obscure-and to illustrate their public and personal lives. The book begins by exploring the rivalry between Queen Elizabeth I and her half sister, Mary Tudor. A later chapter is devoted to Hawaii's Princess Ka'iulani, who fought to keep her island nation independent, and who died tragically at age 24. Time lines place each princess in historical context, showing the national and world events happening during her era. Although the choice of royals doesn't exhibit a broad representation of nations (five of the princesses are from the British monarchy), the format works because of the informative artwork. Readers will want to study the color portraits that have been reproduced from museum collections. The authors offer meticulous credits for these and other illustrations, as well as a strong selected bibliography. However, because of this painstaking research, one wonders about the need for supplemental paintings by McGaw, used on the cover and throughout the work. Although they are beautiful, they serve to modernize the look of each princess. In a book as well documented as this, it seems that more can be learned from the original portraits than from stylized representations, but this criticism should not discourage purchase.
Barbara Buckley, Rockville Centre Public Library, NY
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Brewster, Hugh; McGaw, Laurie [Illustrator]
Published by HarperCollins (2001)
ISBN 10: 0060001593 ISBN 13: 9780060001599
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