The Duchess of Windsor The Secret Life Wallis the Duchess of Windsor was one of the most famous women in history the American divorcee who captured the King of England Edward VIII and cost him his throne Until Charles Higham s mil

  • Title: The Duchess of Windsor: The Secret Life
  • Author: Charles Higham
  • ISBN: 9780471485230
  • Page: 137
  • Format: Paperback
  • Wallis, the Duchess of Windsor, was one of the most famous women in history, the American divorcee who captured the King of England, Edward VIII, and cost him his throne Until Charles Higham s 1.3 million copy bestseller, much of her life was a glamorous mystery Now, fifteen years later, major new documentary evidence, classified at the time, makes for a book far seWallis, the Duchess of Windsor, was one of the most famous women in history, the American divorcee who captured the King of England, Edward VIII, and cost him his throne Until Charles Higham s 1.3 million copy bestseller, much of her life was a glamorous mystery Now, fifteen years later, major new documentary evidence, classified at the time, makes for a book far sensational than the original bestseller Drawing from long suppressed archives in France, England, and the United States, Higham has uncovered the duchess s passionate affair with a top ranking political figure, the duke s romantic involvement with a male equerry, the secret radio broadcasts the couple made to Hitler, and the blackmail plot in Paris that almost brought them and the British royal family to ruin This updated new edition of The Duchess of Windsor is essential reading.

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    One thought on “The Duchess of Windsor: The Secret Life”

    1. The question as to whether Edward, Prince of Wales, would have made a good monarch for Great Britain is open to question for he was never crowned although he reigned as Edward VIII for a short time. His love affair with the American divorcee Wallis Simpson is well documented but in this updated edition of his earlier work on Wallis Simpson author Charles Higham brings plenty of new, and recently released at the time, material to the fore. And the abiding impression one gets is that the answer as [...]

    2. I am not going to review this book, other than to say that it fills in a few gaps in the reading public's knowledge of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor. What you make of this knowledge will depend on your attitude to her and her place in English history. Some biographies are sympathetic, some are not, but to have a real insight into her whole life, one needs to read Behind Closed Doors by Hugo Vickers. We have been well served by the mass of information about her early life and her glittering [...]

    3. Was She A Gold-Digger Or A Woman In Love?Did Wallis Simpson want to be Queen or was she just desperately in love with King Edward VIII? According to Charles Higham in Mrs Simpson, she 'wanted to have her cake and eat it too'. She liked the grand life-style and the stunning presents she received as Prince Edward's mistress and she wanted to remain his mistress after he became King.This is about the best thing about her, according to this book. Apart from being vulgar and common, Higham writes tha [...]

    4. As expected a bit of a sensationalist read which was based on observing other books this author wrote but it was a deeper insight into the lives of the Windsors. Fascinating how these people spent their lives finally waffling between Paris London New York and south of France in a quite aimless and wasted way. Who needs 117 pieces of luggage to get across the Atlantic and who knows how many tons of expensive jewellery. The pro Nazi and the Shanghai Lil bits we knew something of but it was illumin [...]

    5. Charles Higham was not a biographer, but a fantasist. He used archives, but rearranged or mangled evidence to suit his own purposes. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor were not especially attractive characters, but the way Higham inserts his own fictions about their characters makes you feel rather sorry for them both. Charles J.V. Murphy and J. Bryan III wrote a much better book, "The Windsor Story," which reveals the flaws in their characters without making up things out of whole cloth. It was no [...]

    6. I found this book in the laundry room of my apartment complex. I didn't really expect much out of it-just some good gossipy stories-but I ended up enjoying it quite a bit.

    7. Interesting but very long for what is now a long forgotten footnote to history.Their Fascist sympathies and links to pro Nazis was more than I imagined,their deliberate or perhaps indiscreet revelations of Allied war plans to Germans in France,Portugal and Spain was amazing,their continual actions of embarrassment to Britain in wartime saw them hidden away in the Bahamas as Governor and wife.Wallis emerges as a clever forceful woman who overplayed her hand.She never loved the King but he came to [...]

    8. It was a good thing indeed when King Edward VIII abdicated the throne for American divorcee Wallis Simpson. One might even say a blessing.

    9. Maybe I'm stupid but I always assumed England was a united front against the Nazis. According to this book, I was wrong. And the story of the Duke and Duchess isn't a touching, romantic tale of what one man did for love. The duke was an idiot and the duchess was a spy and a bitch. Who knew? Way too many details in this book and I almost gave up several times but glad I finished. But I do wonder about the veracity of his research.

    10. This might be expected to be an easy read, romped through in a weekend: a tale of glamour and desire, scandal and jewels, palaces and the people. No. This is a very thorough, hence long, book. The international nature of high society was an eye-opener for me. The story of the affair, the disruption to the Royal Family and the pressure on the government and the church of the day was not new. I knew the superficial elements of the story - the scandal, the disapproval directed at Wallis Simpson, th [...]

    11. This review contains spoilers, so do not read further if you are going to read the book and want to be surprised. This is a remarkable and very interesting book, some parts more interesting than others. Mr. Higham has put together a very dense and detailed account of both the Duke and the Duchess. He has included many facts, stories, rumors, and innuendoes, and does a fairly credible job of distinguishing between them. If only half of the things told here about the pair of them are true, neither [...]

    12. I was reading and thoroughly enjoying Rhys Bowen's Royal Spyness mysteries in which Wallis Simpson makes several catty appearances and I was curious to know whether this portrayal of her was accurate. So I got two biographies from the library, this one, and The People's King by Susan Williams. When learning about historical characters, I always like to read several books, to get a well-rounded portrait, as every historian writes from their own particular bias or viewpoint. But if several sources [...]

    13. This was a pretty interesting read. A bit of a slog to get all the way to the end, but I did learn a lot--and it was crazy! I can't believe the twists and turns this story took. Nice entry point into understanding a bit about the times--the war etc. Well-written but I got the sense that the author was a bit of an old coot-- loved all the scandalous and gossipy details included--but wanted to check his references as some of it was pretty unbelievable! I don't know--he does seem authoritative. A n [...]

    14. Okay, confession: I didn't actually finish this book. I'm mildly interested to go back and find out what happens to Mrs. Simpson at some point, but the book, as a result of both the writing (dull, name-droppy, jumped around) and the subject matter (I just couldn't find anything redeeming about Wallis Simpson. I know she was partly a product of her time, but I am still flummoxed that the King abdicated the throne for her). This could have been a pretty scintillating magazine article, but it made [...]

    15. Very interesting book and well written. The book was a real eye-opener into the lives of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. I used to think that their relationship was very romantic, but since reading the book (which is documented) I have changed my mind. I no longer feel that they were dealt with unfairly by the Royal Family. It is very interesting to see the family dynamics inside the Royal Family. This book is a historical novel. It makes reference to the war, but it doesn't go into the war sto [...]

    16. Explores the idea that Mrs Simpson was misunderstood but does nothing to make her more likeable in fact the opposite. Whilst much is made of the fact that she did not want to marry the King - she did want to be the King's mistress and would have preferred this status to being the exiled Duchess of Windsor.Dispels some of the more salacious rumours about her being a hermaphrodite but certainly adds some re her three marriages and time spent in Chinese brothels learning the tricks of the tradeAt t [...]

    17. The Duchess of Windsor by Charles Higham. The most insightful book look into Mrs. Simpson that I've yet read, this non-fiction piece paints a nasty picture of both the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. It is well researched, interestingly written and shockingly substantive--a must for anyone studying the "Royals" or the Second World War. Having read this as well as other books on the subject, I think Britain and the Allies are very lucky that the vain, simplistic, dishonourable duo did not spend the [...]

    18. Enjoyed this very much. Both Edward and Mrs Simpson were extremely vain, foolish, self-absorbed people who often did more harm than good. She was always considered to be, but never fully proved, a Nazi spy and sympathiser, his views weren't far behind hers. Their lives were empty and meaningless, a constant round of parties, trying to impress the great and the good, where they could show off the latest acquired gown or jewel. He may of been charming but that was the best of him, luckily for Brit [...]

    19. I was given this book by a friend. It was from a collection of books owned by her mother.I do not generally read biographies, but I was hoping that the story about Wallis Simpsom would hold by attention. I did not follow the news about her during my teen years but had heard some of the story throughout the years. I found this book to be very biased. the author is obvisously very anti-Wallis. He was beyond critical of both Wallis and the Duke.I had a difficult time following the political nuances [...]

    20. Very revealing although the biographers softening at the end is interesting and seems to mirror the royal family's softening towards the couple, which makes the reader feel that his writing has not been unbiased. As a result the reader feels a bit betrayed at being lead to believe they were reading an impartial presentation of facts. Also, as the biographer went to so much effort to explain why the royal family were so intolerant towards and unforgiving of the Windsors, it would've been informat [...]

    21. This book was so boring that I had to read two other books in between to break the monotony (lots of names, dates, parties and travels). I finished it because I wanted to get the overall view of their lives. They were portrayed as not only selfish and completely self-involved but as also Nazi sympathizers. He was the ultimate upperclass twit and she was a royal wannabe and sharp-tounged harpie despite the fact that she was supposed to be quite charming and attractive, especially to men. I don't [...]

    22. The duke and duchess were fascinating people, to say the least. However, I found this book to get a little caught up in the minutia of dates and "and then they went here, and then he said this," etc which interrupted the overall arc of the story of their lives. The telling of the juicy bits (which there are quite a few) was a bit dry. I recommend a good editor, and more of a People magazine approach. Anyone who is interested in reading a biography of Wallis Simpson won't mind that style.

    23. This book could be difficult to read because there were so many names to keep up with on each page thanks to the excellent background research of the author. There really was "The Secret Life" part of the book. I knew she and the duke were Nazi sympathizers but had no idea of the extent of it. She and the duke have been portrayed as members of the royal family to feel sorry for. You won't if you finish this book.

    24. Some of the story is lost because the political figures are simply unknown to readers of the current day. I wanted more of the lives of the couple and got politcs instead. OK read at the start of their relationship, not sure I would recommend it to others though. Im sure there are more recent books that cover the relationship much more effectively for a modern reader. Does not paint a flattering portrait of Wallis Simpson thats for sure.

    25. Wallis Simpson, socialite, and wife of a king who gave up his throne for her, has always fascinated me. This book gave an extremely detailed account of her long and controversial life. While other sources dispute some of Higham's claims, I feel the royal family and the the British Government were correct in keeping their distance from her as she mingled with many unsavoury people throughout her life while zipping through the millions as she partied night after night.

    26. Far too much time spent proving they were Nazi collaborators, too many rumours, gossip & scandal presented as fact with only a sentence pointing out there's no actual evidence or anyone left alive to corroborate or indeed disprove them. This actually focuses on the couple rather than Wallis, after the Duke's death her life of nearly another 15 years is condensed into less than a chapter really.

    27. Gave up on reading this book after Wallis met the Prince because it felt as though the whole book was building up to that point, and there was nothing else to look forward to. I also began losing track of all the names (Earl of this and Duke of that). It's not a bad book, but biographies of royals just aren't my style.

    28. Read this to find out exactly why he abdicated the throne but found the two main characters to be totally uninteresting. Shallow and centred around only themselves they are portrayed as nothing more than partiers and showoffs.

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