Customer Reviews for

The Duchess of Windsor: The Uncommon Life of Wallis Simpson

Average Rating 4.5
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

THE AMERICAN WHO WOULD BE QUEEN

Wallis Simpson really thought she was going to be Queen of England. Seriously. That alone is enough to convince the reader that Wallis was a fearfully ambitious woman. This very well researched book starts off with a sordid childhood and uncertain parentage which would ...
Wallis Simpson really thought she was going to be Queen of England. Seriously. That alone is enough to convince the reader that Wallis was a fearfully ambitious woman. This very well researched book starts off with a sordid childhood and uncertain parentage which would deter most women from aspiring to royalty. But the author, Greg King, explains how all these obstacles were overcome by love. Almost. The deep life-long love of Edward VIII, King of England, almost succeeded in putting a crown on the head of an illegitimate American divorce'.


It's a sensational story that has been told many times before; the young, handsome King who fell madly in love with a commoner. But this "Cinderella" story was not to have a fairytale ending. The British parlaiment and the royal family were horrified at their affair, and adamantly refused to accept Wallis into the ermine-trimmed world of the Windsors.


A suitable spouse for the King was to be unmarried, a virgin, a member of the Church of England, and come from British (or at least European) nobility. Wallis was none of these. An illegitimate, divorced, Catholic American was the antithesis of the British notion of a queen.


When these sentiments became clear to Wallis, she and Edward (called David by his friends and family) relented and proposed, reluctantly, that Wallis would not be Queen, but Princess Consort. Smaller crown. To their dismay, this proposal was also rejected outright.


Surprisingly, it took some time before David and Wallis were made to understand that Wallis' presence in his life in any capacity would not be tolerated, even as a mistress. David had been raised in the royal bubble, where every whim was accommodated, every wish a command. To be told "no" was simply incomprehensible to him. So he and Wallis were married, assuming that the rest of the Windsors would "come around" in time. They were wrong.


David abdicated the throne in favor of his younger brother, who was to become father of the current Queen Elizabeth II. David and Wallis did not realize that the Windsors meant to banish them not just from the throne, but from the family and the nation.


King deftly tells the sad story of David and Wallis' life after abdication. For years afterward, both of them waited for the royal family to relent and allow them to return to the fold. It never happened. They wandered around Europe where they were wined and dined by those who wanted a taste of royalty at their cocktail soirees. Finally David was offered the Governorship of the Bahamas. He accepted it, although Wallis considered the backwater post another insult.


It's a beautiful, strange, sad love story filled with passion, war, family grudges, and royal ambition. And all the more captivating because it's true.

posted by Mary_T on November 30, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Where are the photos??

I liked this book and feel the author did his research well. I have read many a book on the Duke and Dutchess as well as Elizabeth and Bertie. However I felt a little ripped off when he kept refering to the pictures in the book but they are not there.

posted by 10081080 on October 21, 2013

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 14 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2001

    Why I had to buy this book

    I checked this book out from the library, but it was so good on the Duchess I had to buy it for my collection. Just about the best book written on her, including things I never knew, and I've read just about everything printed, including her own book 'The Heart has Its Reasons' (which I reccommend).

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2001

    Fantastic.

    This is the best book on the Duchess of Windsor that I've ever read. Finally, a balanced and accurate portrait of Wallis. Well-documented denials of the most outragrous rumour which circulated around the Duchess. This book is a wonderful glimpse into their personalities and their private lives. Its wonderful to see the real Wallis emerge from all the fictions which rose up around her. Beautifuly written and totally absorbing.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2012

    Excellent!

    Glad to finally know the real story oh The Duke and Duchess of Windsor. A lengthy but great read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2013

    Excellent bio

    Interesting, well written. Provides a different (and perhaps truer) portrait of Wallis Simpson.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2013

    A very good biography that is a must-read

    Even though it is a long book to read, it is worth reading. Wallis Simpson was a woman who was wanting to live the good life, but caused a future king to fall in love with her instead. The queen mother and all the way down to Prince Charles treated them horribly all through their marriage, yet Prince Charles, a future king himself, has been allowed to marry a divorced woman and stay in the line if succession. Funny how family treats itself when it's royalty. Actually, it is very sad.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

    Mellette

    I appreciated the author's presentation of facts instead of rumor. A very good read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 24, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    I found the information as a historical book that I was looking for.

    She was a very strong woman who understood the man she fell in love with and gave up many of the things she had to endure to be with the man who brought her comfort and to deal with the family he came from. She was in the public eye through her husband and that of the world.

    I found that I too am a very strong woman that is a leader in this world through hard times and can see myself in the life she once had through the love of a man that I am truly in love with.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 28, 2015

    I did not know much about Wallis Simpson before reading this boo

    I did not know much about Wallis Simpson before reading this book.  I had heard of her and what I heard was not at all flattering.  I read a sample of the e-book and immediately could not put it down!  It was unbiased, but honest about the Duchess' life, loves, and impact upon society.  What it must have been like to have lived such a life.  After reading King's biography, I had a much better understanding of a woman much maligned and misunderstood.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 14 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1