She was the first person to be named Woman of the Year by Time magazine, and yet Wallis Simpson remains one of the most reviled women in history. The social-climbing divorcee is remembered as a snob and voluptuary who came close to destroying the British monarchy. But could she have been the pawn of Allied statesmen determined to remove a Nazi sympathiser from the throne?
This memoir, found in her former Paris home, is said to have been written in the Duchess' own hand. And although the Duchess is a highly unreliable narrator, Kate Auspitz, an American historian, is a meticulous scholar, supplying pages of endnotes that ground the story firmly in published recollections of the major figures of the time. The plot rests on little-known historical details that make Wallis's role in the events entirely plausible.
©2010 Kate Auspitz (P)2011 Audible Ltd
"Lorelei King is astonishing. I thought I was listening to my better self when I heard the introduction to Wallis: My War , written in my voice, read in hers." (Kate Auspitz)
"An ingenious twist and just as plausible as the well-researched reality this fictional account deftly uses." (Daily Mail)
"These impeccably researched faux memoirs capture the louche glamour of the couple's honeymoon years, the anxieties surrounding the abdication - Wallis's desire to be queen stymied by Duff Cooper and Harold Nicolson - and their wartime internment in the Bahamas." (The Lady)
"erudite, subversive ... witty..." (Observer)
Always one for a biography, I chose Wallis My War for an insight into the woman that caused the abdication of the king. Written from her point of view was the clever bit. I enjoyed the regular ramblings from the woman's point of view, the details of what was her life in relation to his. I did find the voice very irritating at first that I did not listen to it for a while. However I had another go with the presumption that this is what she probably sounded like. Ir is worth persevering with. This is my first audio book, perhaps I am not quite ready to stop reading the printed versions yet, not sure if I ever will as it was not a very enjoyable experience.
I am still not sure if I have truly given this a fair rating as I think the narrator put me off listening to a good story line. I found it hard to be objective and remove the voice from the story. Apologies but this wasn't for me. Perhaps listen on another day maybe a different outcome.
This is a vivid and engrossing, albeit fictional, account of how the Duchess of Windsor was used as a pawn by the Anglo-Franco-American alliance, first to get a king to abdicate and then to spread disinformation amongst the Axis, via Ribbentrop. Not a book you can stop listening to easily.
"Fun and interesting, too."
I might, just to catch any details I missed the first time.
The very end of the book holds an image I won't forget.
I really enjoyed the plotting among the afternoon cocktails.
I have to keep reminding myself that the book is fiction.
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