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Summary

The story of the love affair between Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII, and his abdication in order to marry the divorcée, has provoked fascination and discussion for decades. However, the full story of the couple's links with the German aristocracy and Hitler has until now remained untold.

Meticulously researched, 17 Carnations chronicles this entanglement, starting with Hitler's early attempts to matchmake between Edward and a German noblewoman. While the German foreign minister sent Simpson 17 carnations daily, each one representing a night they had spent together, she and the Duke of Windsor corresponded regularly with the German elite.

Known to be pro-German sympathizers, the couple became embroiled in a conspiracy to install Edward as a puppet king after the Allies were defeated. After the war, the Duke's letters were hidden in a German castle that had fallen to American soldiers. They were then suppressed for years, as the British establishment attempted to cover up this connection between the House of Windsor and Hitler.

Drawing on FBI documents, material from the German and British Royal Archives, and the personal correspondence of Churchill, Truman, Eisenhower and the Windsors themselves, 17 Carnations reveals the whole fascinating story, throwing sharp new light on a dark chapter of history.

Andrew Morton is one of the world's best-known biographers and a leading authority on modern celebrity as well as royalty. His groundbreaking 1992 biography revealed the secret world of Diana, Princess of Wales. Written with her full, though then secret, cooperation, the book changed the way the world looked at the British royal family. Since Diana: Her True Story, he has gone on to write number-one Sunday Times and New York Times best sellers on Monica Lewinsky, Madonna, David and Victoria Beckham, Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie and, most recently, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in William and Catherine: Their Lives, Their Wedding. The winner of numerous awards, he divides his time between London, Hollywood and Manhattan.

©2015 Andrew Morton (P)2015 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about 17 Carnations

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History narrated at its most professional.

A comprehensive insight into a period of history hitherto unread.Brimming with dates places and people. Narrated with authority, spoken with conviction. One of my best byes.

8 people found this helpful

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You couldn't Make it up

really interesting and well crafted. I loved the mix of historical context with the main story. this adds to my view that we should thank wallis simpson for giving us George 6th. she must have been a remarkable woman. they deserved each other. neither likeable and clearly miserable despite all their wealth. David clearly was a very mixed up man. you couldn't make up a story like this!

7 people found this helpful

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Fairly written and interesting

As a history book this is a halfway decent effort, I'm a royal history buff and it managed to teach me a few things I didn't know. My one overriding complaint is the word ducal is vastly overused. The listener does not need reminding every few paragraphs that the Windsors were a ducal couple, we know that already. I did find it quite irritating after a while.

5 people found this helpful

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Life under this country under the Gestapo

My father was in SOE in a number of countries, paracuted in, dropped from gunboats and fishing boats, he went to teach resistance organisations how to learn morse code and transmit, receive, move and hide radio equipment, but thousand of men and omen lost and risked their lives to protect us from being invaded. (bold, underlined) would have done. Well yes.

Without their bravery, how many of the population would be left now? Those who hadn't gone up in smoke would be working as slave labour, the rest ruled completely by Nazis, home grown and imported. If these two had had their way, that would have done it. I'm short sighted. How far down the list would I be?

Just listen to the abdication, Edward quite clearly says ' - to run this country as I-y. would have wanted. This book shows us how close we came.

3 people found this helpful

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Light shone on grotesques in a grotesque system

The British monarchy destroyed the main mass of the evidence relevant to to treasonous activities of the Duke of Windsor. Andrew Morton does a great job with what is left. Highlighting the pettiness of the royal family - taking up the time of elected people, like Churchill, who was fighting a war at the time - and the fact that, left to their own devices, they did what worked for them, irrespective of the consequences for other people. The Windsors were just the worst. Giving secrets to the Nazis. Cooperating with Nazi propaganda. Preparing the way for a Nazi victory. And these people were protected!? Thank you the Americans who would not go along with the destruction of historical records. Well worth a read. Adam Ardrey.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Listening

As a lover of history this is a real insight into one of the most important men in Britain's History.

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Interesting

The old love story boy meets girl, boy gives up crown, abdication and nazis…

Well written and well read .

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Who knew?

Astonishing what can go under the carpet. Fascinating read. Last bit is a bit dry but excellent long drive material.

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nothing new

nothing new in this really if you have read other biographies, very light weight and disappointing.

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  • Robyn
  • 07-11-15

interesting and informative

The title says it all - it is about the Windsors and their association with various Nazis and the grand cover-up which occupied the British establishment and royals when certain documents turned up after the war. The 17 carnations are explained along the way. While the private goings-on between the Duke and Duchess and the royals who shut them out are not central to the story, they provide a bit of spice and are essential to understanding motives on all sides. This is a riveting read - very well written and easy to follow despite the plot complexities and large cast of characters. Cameron Stewart has the perfect voice and accent for this book as well as the added bonus of being able to pronounce words and names in a large number of languages.