Secret Life Of…is a cheeky and provocative biography series that deliciously dishes dirt on icons of the past. Take this rare glimpse into the rarefied world of the rich, famous, and scandalous icons of history.
We know him as the king with a whack of palaces, a weight problem and a penchant for killing off his wives. But there’s much more to Henry VIII than the fat old tyrant from the history books.
Queen Elizabeth I
She’s the over-the-top queen with the powdered white face, unnaturally high forehead, and a wardrobe that make her the Lady Gaga of the 16th century. But don’t be fooled: Elizabeth I was a passionate woman with a wicked temper and an iron will.
We think of Queen Victoria as the fat old lady in black who grumbles, “We are not amused” – the dry, dreary matron of the 19th century. But behind the public face, the other Vicky: passionate, lively and a sexual dynamo!
He alone was said to be worth 50,000 men on the battlefield. Such was the military genius of Napoleon Bonaparte. He ruled an empire with an empire-sized ego.
Marie Antoinette’s image as the Queen of Wretched Excess has endured: her over-the-top dresses, her gambling addiction, her pouffed hair! But did she get a bad rap?
He was a playboy poet – and one of the first true celebrities in history. Lord Byron wrote words that made women swoon (and a few men). One of the great Romantic poets, he embraced fame like no other.
Alexander the Great
He conquered the known world by age 25. Not only did Alexander the Great win more than 40 battles, he likely did it drunk, riding bareback, and in skimpy battledress!
Casanova – the name is synonymous with seduction. A lethario. A chick magnet of the highest order. But Casanova was a man of many disguises.
They were the original crime family. The Borgias. They have a rap sheet that would shock the Sopranos – only they committed their sins inside the Vatican.
His name means Little Boots – a bit too cute for the tyrant he was to become. The Roman Emperor Caligula was one nasty piece of work.
Her name is synonymous with intrigue, seduction and dirty dancing. She’s the ultimate femme fatale, a superstar of the Belle Epoque. But who was the real Mata Hari?
Marquis De Sade
He’s the guy we can thank for the word sadist. But there’s much more to the sexually deviant Marquis de Sade than the twisted celebration of pain.
Catherine the Great
Catherine the Great may be famous for her romantic liaisons, but she was also smart, ambitious and a masterful politician – living in man’s world, but making it her own.
The big hair, lacey cuffs, the platform shoes. Louis XIV was completely over the top – no one outshone The Sun King.