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Books on political scandal
Matilda of Flanders, Wallis Simpson and Mimi Alford

If you're sick of hearing about the Republican hopefuls' hidden tax returns and salacious infidelities, it's worth noting that for as long as there has been politics, there has been political disgrace.

Here to distract you from the current circus are three books of juicy, historical scandal:

That Woman Few women have been as glamorized and detested as the late Wallis Simpson--the American divorcée for whom Prince Edward famously abdicated the throne in 1936. Forgo the recent Madonna flick in favor of Anne Sebba's gripping new biography, which exposes fascinating evidence of Simpson's alleged sexual disorder--she might have been genetically male.

Once Upon a Secret Rick Santorum may be "sickened" by him, but for many people, JFK remains a pillar of presidential virtue. Hence, the titillating shock of Mimi Alford's recent memoir, which details the affair she had with President Kennedy in the summer of 1962 (when she was just 19).

Queen of the Conqueror Think cheating politicians are bad? Consider the relationship between William the Conqueror and his bride, Matilda, whom he wooed by "dragging her to the ground by her hair." Acclaimed historian Tracy Borman's forthcoming biography explores this tumultuous marriage in all its 11th-century, hair-tearing glory.

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