I am so depressed after reading this. I don't think I have ever read anything more depressing. It seemed to be well researched, but my guess would be that the author chose only the unknown things that would shock people. Like a french princess who was so vile and filthy that she reeked. She burped loudly in front of anyone, her teeth were rotten and she felt herself above a chamber pot so she would relieve herself standing wherever she was. But that had nothing at all to do with the plot.
Ick! I really need to read something light and cleansing now. ***** Major Spoilers Ahead *******
I am sure that in the 18th century within the nobility, many 15 year old girls were married off to titled 42 year old men. But I can't help to wonder how many actually desperately wanted their chosen man. 15 is 15, be it now or then. They are not mature, period! Well this man was deeply, madly in love with his future 15 year old brides grandfather! So he wants this girl because she has her grandfather's smile. WTF???? Never-mind that he does finally start to fall in love with his 15 year old bride, but once things start looking up for her, he runs into a prince that he had a torrid love affair with. Yeah of course they start that up again. Plus all the other whoring going on including orgies threesomes (not descriptive like erotica, but not closed door entirely). While that is going on, the girls 4 little siblings that she loves with all her poor little heart, get the small pox and die. The author gives us vivid descriptions on what a body goes through with that along with what a face looks like while sections of it are falling off the little babies. while she is deep in depression over this, her husband is walking the clouds because of his love for the prince.
And love? Everyone in this story, and there were many players, were in love with someone, but in every situation that love was not returned.
What I don't understand, is how the men all went to orgies and whores and such, but no one had any kind of std.