As Kelly Murphy tells us, “Sometimes we struggle to make a connection with history. Wars, timelines, dynasties, and aqueducts are rarely compelling. But take a deeper look at the mad men and fierce women of the days of yore and you uncover an alluring, powerful, and often wildly scandalous cast of characters who shaped our society today. What did they all have in common? An irresistible charisma.”
To prove her point, Murphy celebrates some of history’s best-looking people in Historical Heartthrobs: 50 Timeless Crushes from Cleopatra to Camus (Zest Books), which compiles the life stories of the sexiest ladies and gents from the past 2,000 years. Here are a few of our favorites.