The romances in It Ended Badly all have bad ends – go figure. Though many (most?) of them work out for the best in the end. Five of the 13 are relationships with political implications, which, honestly, does anyone expect to live happily ever after? The remaining 8 are both fun historical gossip that also show how not to have a healthy relationship.
My favorites? I’m never, ever going to turn away an explanation of how Eleanor of Aquitaine left the King of France for the King of England (or tell you that you should go watch The Lion in Winter to see how that worked out for everyone involved).
There were two, though, that I found the most enlightening. First was the chapter about Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas. I only knew the bare outlines of the story, and this fleshed it out more. Second was the chapter about the whole Debbie Reynolds/Eddie Fisher/Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton fiasco. But here’s what I learned: Debbie Reynolds was awesome. She’d already realized that Eddie Fisher was a putz before he left her for Elizabeth Taylor – she’d asked him for a divorce not once but twice. AND Debbie and Elizabeth became good friends again in their old age (they’d been friends prior to the whole affair, and then things had understandably fallen apart). There are a couple of quotes that make you realize just exactly how Carrie Fisher got to be such an awesome writer.
So if you are looking for a light-hearted romp through some history, or need a post-breakup relationships-are-terrible-ideas book that won’t make you too depressed, let me recommend It Ended Badly. I enjoyed it.