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Synopsis

This book examines the motives, means and consequences of the murders among members of Europe's ruling families over the last 1,000 years. Plucking true stories due to their historical significance and sheer intrigue, this book relates violent deaths amid royal splendour and the overthrow of tyrants by oppressed populations. Methods vary from sword and arrow, to bomb and bullet, to alleged witchcraft. Settings range from Russia to Portugal; British examples include the involvement Mary Queen of Scots may have had in her second husband's murder and a search for the facts behind Shakespeare's portrayal of the murderous usurpers Macbeth and Richard III. But in European history there has been no royal murder to rival Russia's Tsar Ivan the Terrible, a homicidal maniac resopnsible for thousands of deaths, whose dramatic killing sprees are examined here. Dulcie M Ashdown takes on a journey through the dark and tragic side of royal history: from Richard III through to the recent controversy surrounding the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

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