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Biographies & Memoirs

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Alison

Alison Burnham-on-Sea, United Kingdom Member Since 2011
HELPFUL VOTES
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  • "Compelling"

    Overall

    A compelling download, well read and very interesting. The author doesn't champion WS, nor attack her, so the general neutrality makes it even more enjoyable. I was ready to dislike WS, I suppose - and at the end of the book I did dislike her quite a lot, but I certainly felt I understood more about what drove this extraordinary woman. I also felt great pity for her and Edward who seems to have been weak, deluded and baffled. The international turmoil that served as the backdrop to this bizarre story is very well woven. Living history.

    One weak point (not weak enough to lose a star though) was a persistent theory advanced by the author about the sexuality of WS. The author believes - but presents no actual evidence for this - that WS was born with both male and female sexual characteristics. There is no proof, so it's nothing more than an interesting but probably flawed theory.

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    That Woman

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Anne Sebba
    • Narrated By Samantha Bond
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    One of Britain's most distinguished biographers turns her focus on one of the most vilified woman of the last century. Historian Anne Sebba has written the first full biography of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, by a woman which attempts to understand this fascinating and enigmatic American divorcee who nearly became Queen of England. 'That woman', as she was referred to by the Queen Mother, became a hate figure for allegedly ensnaring a British king.

    Alison says: "Compelling"
  • "A Real Joy"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to this over a few days in December and it was a perfect pre-Christmas listen. Really warm, gently funny and evocative of an era now passed. Beautifully read.

    If you want an easy, peaceful and soothing, up-lifting listen, I recommend this book to you.

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    The Necessary Aptitude

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Pam Ayres
    • Narrated By Pam Ayres
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (33)

    'I never once attended a Sunday morning church service in Stanford. There was always the feeling that they weren't aimed at families like ours.' Pam Ayres was the sixth child in a hard-up family who lived in a council house, her parents' generation were harrowed by the war. Yet they lived by the green in the village of Stanford in the Vale, where everything you needed was within walking distance and the sound of motorcars was rarely heard.

    S. M. Burns says: "Laugh until you cry"
  • "An honest book"

    Overall

    I admire Celia Imrie's acting and I enjoyed this book. It is beautifully read, as you'd expect. I had a sense that we're getting very much the public Celia, but then I thought that this is actually a very dignified way to have written the book: it's not tabloid, and nor is she. In fact I was unaware of the odd tabloid intrusions she has had to deal with in the past, to which she does refer. I loved the stories about fellow actors most. Lovely insights and observations.

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    The Happy Hoofer

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Celia Imrie
    • Narrated By Celia Imrie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    One of our best-loved actresses, Celia Imrie would rather have been a dancer. As a child she planned to join the Royal Ballet and marry Rudolf Nureyev. Now she has become one of our finest and funniest performers, on stage, TV and screen - adored for her roles in 'Acorn Antiques' and 'dinnerladies', as well as films including 'Calendar Girls' and 'Nanny McPhee'. In her hugely entertaining autobiography, Celia Imrie recounts a life hurtling (not always intentionally) into adventures both on stage and off.

    Anne says: "Excellent"
  1. That Woman
  2. The Necessary Aptitude
  3. The Happy Hoofer
  4. .

Meet Harper Lee

From First Lady to Secretary of State

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    • Narrated By Stephen Fry
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