Duchess of Windsor

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Ever since Edward VIII gave up his throne in 1936 to marry her, the extraordinary career of Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, has never ceased to fascinate. How was it that the most eligible bachelor in the world fell in love with this unknown American woman, who was not generally considered beautiful? What was the nature of their relationship? Was she responsible for the Abdication? Many questions remain unanswered. Why did her birth go unrecorded? What were the qualities which so infatuated the Prince of Wales? Why ...
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1997 Hard cover Us ed. New in fine dust jacket. Some light shelf wear Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 240 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade.

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The Duchess of Windsor

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Overview

Ever since Edward VIII gave up his throne in 1936 to marry her, the extraordinary career of Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, has never ceased to fascinate. How was it that the most eligible bachelor in the world fell in love with this unknown American woman, who was not generally considered beautiful? What was the nature of their relationship? Was she responsible for the Abdication? Many questions remain unanswered. Why did her birth go unrecorded? What were the qualities which so infatuated the Prince of Wales? Why did she never have children? Michael Bloch, who spent ten years as Maitre Blum's assistant is the ideal person to provide this biographical reassessment. In it he dispels much of the mystery that has surrounded her, and paints a vivid portrait of a courageous, glamorous and unusual individual - perhaps in some ways not a woman at all.
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
An empty account of an empty life, buoyed largely by speculation that Bessie Wallis Warfield Spencer Simpson, the duchess of Windsor, although thrice married, was a virgin when she died.

Drawing on the correspondence between the duke and duchess and many of the sources that supported his earlier works about the Windsors, the author (The Secret File of the Duke of Windsor, 1969, etc.) tries to define the woman who moved the king of England to give up his throne. Beginning at the beginning, Bloch speculates that Wallis Warfield's birth to a socially prominent family was not registered because of "gender confusion" resulting from genital flaws. As she grew up, according to the author, she developed "a decidedly masculine appearance" and "a bossy personality." Be that as it may, she made her Baltimore debut with a thoroughly feminine demeanor and married a thoroughly domineering, heavy- drinking male, E. Winfield Spencer Jr. The marriage lasted five years, after which she traveled in Europe and China, where she was rumored to have picked up sexual "arts." In London with her second husband, Ernest Simpson, she launched a social climb that led to her romance with the man who would become King Edward VIII. She, willing to be mistress or morganatic wife, protested mightily when the king planned to abdicate in order to marry her. She predicted rightly that she would be the target of England's disappointment. Spending the rest of her life successfully insuring that the former monarch would never regret his decision, her households, her wardrobe, her parties, and her persona were never less than perfect.

Is the throne of England worth a lifetime with a woman renowned for her perfect grooming? Did her alleged masculinity appeal to the duke's rumored homosexual leanings? This book—in prose as flat as the duchess's chest—doesn't begin to probe those questions or convince the reader of her vaunted charm and wit.

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In 1936, Edward VIII renounced his throne to marry an American divorcee widely considered neither beautiful nor brilliant. This book dispels much of the mystery surrounding Wallis Simpson's strange life before, during, and after her marriage to the Prince of Wales -- revealing some extraordinary truths about the true nature of her relationship with the Prince, why her birth went unrecorded, why she never had children, and more. Black-and-white and color photos.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312151157
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/1996
  • Edition description: 1st U.S. Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 7.08 (w) x 10.13 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in 1953, Michael Bloch read law at St John's College, Cambridge, and was called to the bar by Inner Temple. He worked for Ma??tre Suzanne Blum, the Paris lawyer of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and wrote six books about the couple. He edited the diaries of James Lees-Milne, the National Trust's rescuer of country houses, and wrote his biography. His other biographical subjects include Hitler's Foreign Minister, Ribbentrop, and Frederick Matthias Alexander, founder of the Alexander technique.
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