"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character; give him power"-Abraham LincolnIn our time, monarchies seem little more than tourist curiosities and democracy is taken for granted. Historian C.S. Denton explores periods where monarchs wielded vast power - power which was often exercised arbitrarily and unjustly. 75 succinct essays cover European royalty from the last king of Rome to Tsar Nicholas II. Whether villainized by propaganda, suffering from serious mental disorders or truly the epitome of evil, Denton explores the truth behind these infamous rulers. Far more than just sensational accounts, the book makes a genuine attempt to understand what drove them to their excesses.