It Ended Badly Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2015-11-03
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
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A history of heartbreak-replete with beheadings, uprisings, creepy sex dolls, and celebrity gossip-and its disastrously bad consequences throughout time

Spanning eras and cultures from ancient Rome to medieval England to 1950s Hollywood, Jennifer Wright's It Ended Badly guides you through the worst of the worst in historically bad breakups. In the throes of heartbreak, Emperor Nero had just about everyone he ever loved-from his old tutor to most of his friends-put to death. Oscar Wilde's lover, whom he went to jail for, abandoned him when faced with being cut off financially from his wealthy family and wrote several self-serving books denying the entire affair. And poor volatile Caroline Lamb sent Lord Byron one hell of a torch letter and enclosed a bloody lock of her own pubic hair. Your obsessive social media stalking of your ex isn't looking so bad now, is it?
With a wry wit and considerable empathy, Wright digs deep into the archives to bring these thirteen terrible breakups to life. She educates, entertains, and really puts your own bad breakup conduct into perspective. It Ended Badly is for anyone who's ever loved and lost and maybe sent one too many ill-considered late-night emails to their ex, reminding us that no matter how badly we've behaved, no one is as bad as Henry VIII.

Author Biography

Jennifer Wright is a columnist for the New York Observer and the New York Post, covering sex and dating. She was one of the founding editors of TheGloss.com, and her writing regularly appears in such publications as Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and Maxim. Her breakup cure is gin, reruns of 30 Rock, and historical biographies. She lives and loves in New York City.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1. If you have been replaced by a surprising choice
Read about Nero and Poppaea 7

2. If you are accomplished and in­de­pen­dent and fierce
Read about Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II 26

3. If your ­family didn’t like your ex and thought you could do better
Read about Lucrezia Borgia and Giovanni Sforza 45

4. If you have ever made the same ­mistake twice
Read about Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard 60

5. If you have started snickering at happy couples on the street
Read about Anna Ivanovna 83

6. If you believe in ghosts
Read about Timothy Dexter 97

7. If you have just sent your ex a very intense emotional e-­mail
Read about Caroline Lamb and Lord Byron 111

8. If there ­were body image issues
Read about John Ruskin and Effie Gray 128

9. If it was just a sad affair
Read about Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas 146

10. If you ­were dumped
Read about Edith Wharton and Morton Fullerton 164

11. If you are struggling to find anyone as good as your ex
Read about Oskar Kokoschka and Alma Mahler 181

12. If you deserve an apology
Read about Norman Mailer and Adele Morales Mailer 195

13. If you want to believe it will all work out for the best in the end
Read about Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher and Elizabeth Taylor 211

Epilogue 226
Sources 229
Ac­know­ledg­ments 239

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