Diana & Jackie: Maidens, Mothers, Myths

Overview

History has seen only a few women so magical, so evanescent, that they captured the spirit and imagination of their times. Diana, Princess of Wales and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis were two of these rare creatures. They were the most famous women of the twentieth century ~ admired, respected, even adored at times; rebuked, mocked and reviled at others. Separated by nationality and a generation apart, they led two surprisingly similar lives.

Both were the daughters of acrimonious ...

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Overview

History has seen only a few women so magical, so evanescent, that they captured the spirit and imagination of their times. Diana, Princess of Wales and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis were two of these rare creatures. They were the most famous women of the twentieth century ~ admired, respected, even adored at times; rebuked, mocked and reviled at others. Separated by nationality and a generation apart, they led two surprisingly similar lives.

Both were the daughters of acrimonious divorce. Both wed men twelve years their senior, men who needed "trophy brides" to advance their careers. Both married into powerful and domineering families, who tried, unsuccessfully, to tame their willful independence. Both inherited power through marriage and both rebelled within their official roles, forever crushing the archetype. And both revolutionized dynasties.

And yet in many ways they were completely different: Jackie lived her life with an English "stiff upper lip" ~ never complaining, never explaining in the face of immense public curiosity. Diana lived her life with an American "quivering lower lip" ~ with televised tell-alls, exposing her family drama to a world eager for every detail.

These two lives have been well documented but never before compared. And never before examined in the context of their times. Jay Mulvaney, author of Kennedy Weddings and Jackie: The Clothes of Camelot, probes the lives of these two twentieth century icons and discovers:

The nature of their personalities forged from the cradle by their relationships with their fathers, Black Jack Bouvier and Johnny Spencer.
·Their early years, and their early relationships with men.
·Their marriages, and the truth behind the lies, the betrayals and the arrangements.
·Their greatest achievements: motherhood.
·Their prickly relationships with their august mothers-in-law, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy and Queen Elizabeth II
· Their lives as single women, working mothers.
· Their roles as icons and archetypes.

Graced with never before seen photographs from many private collections, and painstakingly researched, 0Diana and Jackie presents these two remarkable and unique women as they have never been seen before.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales: Two famous women, radically different, yet surprisingly similar. Both were daughters of acrimoniously divorced parents. Both married older men who wanted trophy wives to advance their careers. Both married into ambitious, domineering families who tried to domesticate their free spirits. Both rebelled within their prescribed official roles, each forever shattering the archetype. Yet these two feminine icons had dissimilar personalities and upbringings, and each ultimately faced different challenges. Jay Mulvaney, the author of Kennedy Weddings, has crafted a book that is less a dual biography than a double illumination, a new way of thinking about two remarkable women.
From the Publisher

"I never noticed the extraordinary parallels between their front-page-famous lives until now. I so enjoyed reading this book." --Dominick Dunne

Publishers Weekly
Eight years after Jackie Onassis's death and a mere five after Princess Diana's, Mulvaney gives the millions of strangers who mourned their passing a reason to rejoice: he's taken the familiar and favorite stories that have been rehashed by countless journalists and biographers, cast them in a new light and come up with a book that's irresistibly readable. The twist: it's not just another biography, it's a compare-and-contrast study of the two style-and-glamour icons of the second half of the 20th century. Mulvaney highlights the similarities in their poor-little-rich-girl-childhoods and their troubled marriages to powerful, repressed men (both of whom, Mulvaney says, had conflicted relationships with distant, frigid mothers). He explores their Mediterranean phases Jackie's with Ari, Diana's with Dodi their influence on popular culture and their success in providing their privileged children with the opportunity to experience some semblance of normalcy. Both became expert media manipulators, but as Mulvaney reminds us, Jackie resented their intrusiveness while the deeply insecure Diana craved and thrived on the attention. Perhaps, Mulvaney writes, it was because Jackie, long adored by her father, had a stronger sense of self than Diana, who went without a name for the first week of her life, so badly had her parents wanted a son. The author of Jackie: The Clothes of Camelot and coauthor of Kennedy Weddings, Mulvaney is part melodramatic gossip hound (Diana's death was "like a comet racing across the sky"), part pop psychologist (JFK was "a little boy lost"; Diana the classic "underdog as overachiever"). He's got a knack for weaving a tale, and material that could have been tired and stale instead gets a fresh new perspective. 16 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW. (Aug.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Comparison of two 20th-century "supernovas" whose extraordinary appeal to the public has continued into the 21st-as witness this book. Mulvaney (Jackie: The Clothes of Camelot, not reviewed) unearths no skeletons here, unless you count Jackie's possible employment by the CIA after college. He strives instead to find meaningful similarities between two women who came to fame 20 years apart. Jacqueline Bouvier and Diana Spencer were both shaped in childhood by their parents' scandalous divorces, both married older men and, although pushed to prominence by their husbands' roles, faced down domineering in-laws to emerge as worthy in their own right. Mulvaney also discusses telling differences between the two. Jackie came from a generation that kept personal matters private; she was also well educated and intellectually curious. Diana moved to the fore in an era of increasingly aggressive celebrity journalism when no secrets were safe, even in the royal family. Moreover, she had little education and was more interested in feelings than ideas, a characteristic that, according to Mulvaney, endeared her to the British public as she blurted truths about her bulimia, marital difficulties, and the conflicts of fame. Jackie gets credit for raising the awareness of the American public about art and history, as well as demonstrating how to soldier on in the face of tragedy. Chapters are organized to carry the ladies more or less alternately from girlhood to death, interspersed with discussions of their husbands, parents, and in-laws. There's a good deal of amateur psychoanalysis, including such speculative statements as "[Prince] Charles and Jack [Kennedy] shared . . . a deep-seated fear ofabandonment." Nevertheless, Mulvaney succeeds in giving both women a dimension that less clearly admiring biographical studies often miss. A satisfying buffet, if not a feast, for aficionados, with minor new contributions to Jackie/Diana lore. (b&w photos, not seen.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312282042
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.84 (w) x 10.48 (h) x 1.23 (d)

Meet the Author

Jay Mulvaney is the author of Jackie: The Clothes of Camelot and Kennedy Weddings. He was executive producer of Kennedy Weddings, a Weddings of a Lifetime special for Lifetime TV. A two-time Emmy Award winning writer and producer, his career has included stints as an executive at Nickelodeon, CBS, VH1 and Discovery. A writer and lecturer, he lives in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix
Prologue: Two Weddings 1
1. Gilded Daughters of Privilege 11
2. Darling Daddy (and Mummy Dearest) 25
3. Separation Anxiety: Children of Divorce 39
4. A Girl at an Impressionable Age 53
5. Maidens 67
6. The Men They Married 77
7. Courtship and Engagement 93
8. Wedded Wives 111
9. The Mothers-in-Law: Elizabeth Windsor and Rose Kennedy 123
10. The Windsors and the Kennedys 139
11. Mothers 151
12. Supernovas 173
13. Smashing the Archetypes: The Rebels Within 189
14. The End of the Dream 203
15. Myths 215
16. Two Ladies, Alone 233
17. Owning a Piece of the Myth: Two Sales of the Century 251
18. Second Loves 265
19. Touched by the Sun 277
Epilogue: Two Funerals 287
Afterword 303
Acknowledgments 305
Bibliography 307
Index 309
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2002

    Amazing!

    I hated for this book to end. I couldn't put it down. I've read several books on both of these amazing ladies and in this book still read some things I hadn't read before. I couldn't believe some of the similarities in these two women's lives, the mother-in-laws, the fathers. I cried my eyes out at the end when they passed and for their children that they both loved and lived for so much. I'm sure I will probably read it again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2002

    Diana & Jackie: Maidens, Mothers, Myths

    One royal by marriage, one royal by public acclimation, Princess Diana and Jackie Kennedy were two of the icons of our times. Their lives were full...full of drama, full of human tragedy, full of dreams...and this book really captures some very interesting parallels in their two seemingly different lives. Very well written, DIANA AND JACKIE tells a story that is both familiar and surpisingly new. Both ladies are drawn with a sympathetic pen, and they really seem to come to life...you see their psycological underpinnings and some of the motivations for their behaviors...Di's running to the press to live out her personal life in public and Jackie marrying Onassis for money but also for protection and security. I was fascinated by this take on these two ladies lives. Brava...and bravo to the author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2002

    Diana & Jackie: Maidens, Mothers, Myths

    Wow --- the lives of these two women were amazingly similiar in so many ways....if only England's beautiful princess had one tenth the self awareness of the woman we call 'America's Queen' we would not be mouring her untimely death five years ago... Diana and Jackie shows how Mrs. Kennedy served as almost a role model for Diana's entry into public life. Both women really did shake up the boring institutions that came with their marriages to powerful men. Jackie did so using her intellect, education and experience as a world-class seductress. Diana's approach was more 'bull in the china closet' - albeit a thin, elegantly dressed bull - but the effect both women had on their offical roles changed those roles forever. This book is elegant, witty and absolutely captivating, just like its pair of glamerous subjects.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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