The life of the Duchess of Windsor came to an end in Paris on 24 April 1986. She was almost 90. Many people assumed that she had died years before, since she disappeared from public view for over a decade. Sebastian Faulks wrote in the Sunday Telegraph, 'She is seen as no more than the star of an old romantic film that most French have forgotten.
'But the world did take note, describing her death as the final curtain on one of the greatest love stories of the twentieth century. The story of the Abdication was retold, embers of the feud between the British Royal Family and the Windsors in exile were fanned once more, and there was increasing speculation about the many historical treasures owned by the Duke and Duchess, in particular her jewels.
Hugo Vickers has followed the unfolding saga of this tragic couple since he was a young man. And, with the help of previously unpublished papers and personal testaments, he now brings a whole new perspective to the story. In particular, Vickers focuses on the last years of the Duchess of Windsor, revealing the cold truth about the ruthless exploitation of a vulnerable old woman by an unscrupulous French lawyer called Suzanne Blum.
Behind Closed Doors is a potent mixture of detective story and revelatory royal history. Hugo Vickers combines meticulous research with an intense fascination with his subject to tell a tale whose dramatic impact has only increased with time.
©2011 Hugo Vickers (P)2011 AudioGO Ltd
What i loved about this book was the great detail highlighted of life after the abdication. I was well aware of the royal families unfavourable version of the story of "that woman", but this book broadens the historic situation and i now feel i know much more about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor both before and after the abdication. I found it totally absorbing, and there are at least two sides to every story, and in this case, many more.
"You Reap What You Sow"
I just finished reading That Woman, and was curious to learn more about Wallis and Edward in exile. This couple never looked happy to me, and I suspect that he only used this woman to relieve himself of being King, a job he never enjoyed. No love there to make your wife the most hated woman in England.
I suspect that had they had inkling of how ostracised they would be in their new life he might not have abdicated. The most startling revelations in this book are the chapters dealing with the Duchess after Edward died. Poor of health and isolated from all her remaining friends, she is a virtual prisoner of her staff and lawyer. Who rob her blind.
Not a great love story at all, but a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.
This is a thoroughly well researched book and dispels much of the nonsense and innuendo that have followed this couple.
"Trying to make a heroine where one didn't exist."
I think the reader is supposed to feel sorry for the Windsors and the mess they made of everything. The book comes across as empty as its subjects.
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