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Book Recommendation: It Ended Badly by Jennifer Wright

Henry Holt and Co.

Book: It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History
Author: Jennifer Wright
Genre: Nonfiction

Why You Should Read It (In My Humble Opinion): Have you ever looked back at a breakup and thought that you may have overreacted or did something stupid or rash to punish your ex? Like, maybe you wrote a scathing text to your ex, cussing him out, listing all of his faults and the mistakes he made during the relationship or even worse beg him to take you back? We've all been there. It's true what they say (and I say this all the time): relationships (or the ending of one) bring out of the worst in people. All the love you thought you had towards one another simply vanishes into thin air once it's over and is then replaced by a searing, burning, white-hot hate. At least in a few breakups. Some are mutual and civil. The ones in this book are...not. At all. Not even a little.

My sister recommended this book to me because she knows I love historical facts, especially of the fun, quirky variety. And who doesn't love dishing about bad breakups? Everyone loves talking about them! Jennifer Wright writes (haha. Wright writes. I'd love it even more if this book was about a fight for justice: "Wright Writes Rights!") about thirteen of the most worst breakups in history, and boy, does she deliver.

We start out in ancient Rome, a very crazy and dangerous place (Wright keeps reminding us: we romanticize certain parts of history. Ancient Rome was innovative and important but EVERYONE was murdering/poisoning each other to gain power. Everyone!), with the psychopathic Roman emperor Nero and his great love Poppaea, two ruthless human beings who deserved each other, and from there we hop through time, learning about the love, heartbreaks, murders, and revenge of: Lucrezia Borgi, Henry VIII (and all of his wives, beheaded and intact), Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde, Norman Mailer (a real d*ck, in all honesty) and more figures from history that you may not know have existed. Thanks to It Ended Badly, I not only learned about people of historical value that I may not have ever known about (Timothy Dexter was literally the luckiest guy in the world. If he were alive now, he'd be a crazy billionaire living in a skyscraper with statues of himself covering it. Plus, he literally ghosted his wife. No, seriously. He acted like his living wife was an actual ghost. At least your ex never did that!) but I also learned that men, not just women, can go just as batty after a breakup. It's an incredibly refreshing reminder.

Wright also reminds us that no matter what crazy things you may do during the aftereffects of a breakup, it's NOTHING compared to what some of these crazy people of history have done. Hopefully, your relationship ending didn't end in murder or someone stabbing their wife (ahem, Norman Mailer). And it also proves that throughout history, breakups have always stayed the same: they've sucked. They weren't easier back then and they aren't easy now. It's also nice to know that some seemingly smart and talented people have resorted to some of the most insane behavior I've ever heard of. Love hurts, and they wanted everyone else to suffer with them. The only advantage they had that we don't was that most of them were royalty and everyone had to do what they said, even if it meant dressing up a nobleman as a chicken and have him pretend to lay eggs in the royal court (yes, that happened. Anna Ivanova of Russia, she was batsh*t crazy. I loved every minute of that chapter).

The stories in this book will make you gasp with horror, then laugh with Wright's witty conversational writing, as if she's your gal pal telling you these stories after your own breakup to make you feel better. So if you're suffering from a broken heart, and feel like your breakup has been the worst thing that has ever happened in the history of breakups...well, get a pint of ice cream, somewhere cozy to sit and read this book. It will put your entire breakup into perspective and let you know that compared to YOUR breakup, these ones literally did end badly. Very, very badly. Be grateful you weren't murdered. Or that you didn't get mailed an envelope of bloody pubes (yep, that happened. Read the book. You know you want to now).

Hope you liked this book recommendation, fellow historical weirdos! If you do read it, let me know what you think!

Stay Weird,
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