Grace

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Long before she became a princess, Grace Kelly was a legend, a fabled movie star whose aloof and aristocratic bearing belied a deep sensuality within. Grace the icon and Grace the woman were two very different creatures, and now celebrated biographer Robert Lacey has managed to unearth the secrets beneath her serene surface. In Grace, he presents the first balanced portrait of a complex, deeply conflicted actress, wife, and mother who dared to make her dreams come true. Lacey, who has written definitive books on ...
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Overview

Long before she became a princess, Grace Kelly was a legend, a fabled movie star whose aloof and aristocratic bearing belied a deep sensuality within. Grace the icon and Grace the woman were two very different creatures, and now celebrated biographer Robert Lacey has managed to unearth the secrets beneath her serene surface. In Grace, he presents the first balanced portrait of a complex, deeply conflicted actress, wife, and mother who dared to make her dreams come true. Lacey, who has written definitive books on Queen Elizabeth II, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Ford family, gained unprecedented access to Grace's friends and colleagues. He weaves an extraordinary story that begins in Philadelphia, where Grace's father, an Olympic athlete and local hero, often shunned his shy and sickly daughter. Grace was determined to win the attention of her father and the world. While carefully cultivating the image of the white-gloved young lady, she became a surprisingly brazen, even reckless, young woman. She fell into bed with her best friend's husband, her drama teacher, and some of the most glamorous film stars of her era, including Clark Gable and William Holden. By the time Grace met her prince, she had flirted repeatedly with the altar, only to have her parents veto her choices. Rainier, however, won over Grace and her family in a whirlwind courtship, cemented by a secret correspondence. Lacey writes of Grace's joy at her wedding and her gradual disenchantment with her cloistered palace life. He reveals that after ten years of marriage to Rainier, Grace was deeply wounded by his arrogance, petulance, and autocratic treatment of her. As she approached middle age, the princess found herself living a separate life from Rainier in Paris, battling with her headstrong and willful daughters, and seeking the affection she craved from a succession of handsome young men. To her public, however, Grace always maintained the image of Her Serene Highness, the adored princes

Before she became a princess, Grace Kelly was a legend. And now, biographer Robert Lacey has unearthed the extraordinary secrets behind Grace Kelly's rise from Hollywood star to Princess of Monaco--the fascinating story of a complex woman who dared to make her dreams come true. "The 'definitive biography' of Grace Kelly."--Los Angeles Times Book Review.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lacey's biography charts Grace Kelly's secret and tempestuous life behind the scenes of her rise to Hollywood stardom and becoming Princess of Monaco. (Jan.)
Library Journal
After Hollywood stardom in the Fifties, Grace Kelly, daughter of a wealthy Philadelphia businessman, retired while still glamorous to become Her Serene Highness, Princess Grace of Monaco. Her death in a 1982 automobile accident has never been explained. The fairy tale that was-or seemed to be-Kelly's life has already served as the basis of several popular biographies; the only well-written, critical biography available is James Spada's Grace: The Secret Lives of a Princess (LJ 5/1/87). Historian and journalist Lacey (Ford: The Men and the Machine, LJ 9/1/86) owes much to Spada, but Lacey's own prestige as a writer has shaken loose many new interviewees around the world. The serious work that results is rich in anecdote yet captures the broad story of an outwardly controlled "ice princess" whose promiscuous habits were the natural result of the affection withheld by the men she loved. Public libraries should expect demand.-Joyce Smothers, Monmouth Cty. Lib., Manalapan, N.J.
Booknews
Lacey (Ford, the Men and the Machine) gives us a sympathetic bio in which he attempts to sell an image of the tragic Grace Kelly. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Brad Hooper
A very respectable, responsible biography of Grace Kelly by an equally honorable British biographer, author of, most notably, "Majesty: Elizabeth II and the House of Windsor" (1977) and "Ford: The Men and the Machine" (1987). Kelly was a living legend, but Lacey makes her real without really diminishing her effect and effectiveness. The facts have been presented many times before, including those about her childhood in a very competitive family from suburban Philadelphia, her early entry into acting, her relatively fluid transition into television and movies, her immediate stardom, and of course, her headline-making marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco. But Lacey does far more than recite known facts. He digs deeper, and his picture is one far more realistic than the impossibly wholesome depiction that Hollywood and the princely court of Monaco wanted us to accept. As an actress, Kelly "conducted her private life with extraordinary recklessness." Her marriage to the prince was far from idyllic (and her original reasons for marrying him were fairly complicated). She was a distinguished individual who contributed not only to the history of cinema, but also to the fortunes of tiny Monaco; however, she was no fairy-tale princess--thank goodness!
From Barnes & Noble
This balanced portrait of Grace Kelly, whose serene demeanor belied her personal conflicts, traces Kelly's life from her Philadelphia upbringing, through her acting career and her many romances, through her years as Princess of Monaco, to her tragic death. B&W photos.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425151259
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/1996
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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