HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Eleanor Herman

Internationally Recognized Historian of Royalty


  • The Sex Lives of Queens
  • The Sex Lives of Kings
  • Scandals and Secrets of the Vatican


District of Columbia

Historian of royalty, Eleanor Herman is a sought-after speaker and commentator for television and radio. She has appeared on The National Geographic Channel’s popular show, The Madness of Henry VIII, and has hosted shows for The History Channel’s Lost Worlds program.She has also appeared on numerous programs in Great Britain, Germany, and Italy. She is the author of Sex with Kings: 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge (a New York Times best-seller for six weeks), Sex with the Queen: 900 Years of Vile Kings, Virile Lovers, and Passionate Politics, and the forthcoming Mistress of the Vatican: The True Story of Olympia Maidalchine, the Secret Female Pope.

As vice-chair of the National Press Club’s Book & Author Committee, Eleanor has introduced and moderated talks by Madeleine Albright, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, John Grisham, and many other celebrities. Her lectures are extremely popular with women’s groups, libraries, universities, and historical associations, and they are more of a performance than a traditional talk, as she often appears in historically accurate costume.

“History is so fascinating that it never has to be presented in a boring way,” Herman explains. “These were flesh and blood people, just like you and me, facing war and plague, falling in love, living among splendid art and gut-wrenching poverty. Sometimes people ask me if I plan to write novels. And I say, with all the things that really happened, who needs to make stuff up?”

Herman is related to most of the royal houses of Europe. With the blood of kings flowing in her veins, she has spent most of her free time since childhood studying their lives and traveling to their palaces. Herman graduated with a degree in Journalism from Towson State University in Baltimore in 1981. After studying languages in Europe and writing for numerous publications, she worked for German-based Monch Publishing as Associate Publisher of NATO’s Nations and Partners for Peace from 1989-2002. She has interviewed numerous foreign leaders and spoken at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. Her most interesting lecture was to an assembly of delegates and ambassadors at NATO headquarters in Brussels, where she advocated NATO membership for Slovenia.

Herman lives in the Washington, DC metro area.

Praise for Eleanor Herman’s Lectures:

“It’s sucha joy to watch Eleanor Herman captivate a crowd with her engaging stories about the spicier, feminine side of the past. She deeply understands the characters in her living histories –  their motivations, their passions, and their sins – and she also knows her audiences and what they really want to hear. From her exquisite, historically apt wardrobe to her theatrical yet dignified manner, she doesn’t just hold the attention of her readers, she mesmerizes them.”

Carole Sargent, Office of Scholarly and Literary Publications Georgetown University

“Eleanor Herman brings history to life with her delightfully energetic, captivating and polished delivery. Listening to Eleanor talk is a real treat, her enthusiasm is contagious.”

Larry Lipman, Past President, The National Press Club

Praise for Sex with Kings

“Open Sex with Kings at almost any page and you’ll find yourself immersed in a bawdy, deliciously appealing illicit scene occurring in the highest places. In her first book, Herman has written an enlightening social history that is great fun to read.”
New York Times Book Review

Sex With Kings is... a lot more fun than Danielle Steel or Dan Brown.”
Washington Post Book World

“An irresistible book… Deliciously bawdy, outrageously entertaining… Herman’s writing sparkles off the pages.”
Boston Globe

“Addictively Good Dish.”
Entertainment Weekly

“A smart, keenly researched history written with wry wisdom.”
Dallas Morning News

“An irreproachably researched and amusingly written history of European monarchs’ jezebels.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

 “Herman offers, with relish and dry wit, a delightful overview of their [the Kings’] sexual escapades... her wit and perceptiveness will carry readers through this royally pleasurable romp.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Herman’s spirited history of royal “mistresshood” is certainly a catchy read... History made as buoyant as fiction.”