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Wallis in Love: The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, the Woman Who…

de Andrew Morton

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1177182,819 (3.63)9
Before she was the woman who enticed a king from his throne, Bessie Wallis Warfield was a prudish girl from Baltimore. Morton shows how she transformed from a hard-nosed gold-digger to charming chatelaine, taking us through Wallis's romantic adventures in Washington, China, and London.
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We listened to the audiobook on a long road trip and quite enjoyed the story. It’s well told, fast paced, quite gossipy but interesting.
It’s basically told in chronological order from her birth in Baltimore, Maryland, her school years, and dependence on her uncle Sol for a time. Her first marriage to Win Spencer, a naval officer was unhappy due to his alcoholism. Her marriage to Ernest Spencer, a shipping executive, was not much happier although it did provide a more comfortable home life. She and Spencer were able to travel and mingle in higher and higher social networks until they were within the royal network of Edward VIII (David, the Prince of Wales). She rubbed elbows with his mistresses and friends and finally managed to manipulate him into her web. He is portrayed as a weak, unintelligent, uninteresting push over who did very much love Wallis. She really only wanted to be Queen. She divorced Ernest, David abdicated, they were married became the Duke and Duchess of York but did not live happily ever after. They were shunned by the royal family and their life together was vacuous with their time spent travelling, entertaining, drinking, nagging and looking for a purpose. He died of throat cancer in 1972 and her health gradually declined until her death in 1986 in France. She is buried with her husband in England. ( )
  MaggieFlo | Feb 14, 2019 |
Well written and interesting, this book follows Wallis Simpson from her early years through the end of her life. Vilified as the tramp who stole Edward from the throne, this book painted a different picture.

It was the future and short-lived role of King, that Edward clearly did not want. In many ways, Wallis helped rescue him, rather than how she is painted by many authors. He was a play boy who never really studied for the throne. His father in particular thought very little of him.

When her father died, her mother had to scrimp to live. Relying on Wallis' Uncle Sol, it was he who paid for Wallis' boarding school tuition. Young when she was drawn to an air force pilot, she moved to Florida and tried to make a lonely life worth living. This husband was incredibly abusive. Living in an age when women took the blame when there was a divorce, Wallis tried hard to move up through the social classes.

A second divorce occurred so that she could marry the King. She regretted this decision. Supremely unhappy together, Edward didn't want the throne, but life with Wallis was not something to relish.

Three Stars
  Whisper1 | Jul 23, 2018 |
Interesting look into the life of Wallis Simpson, aka the Duchess of Windsor. The lady who narrated the audio book did a great job. Book is a bit long, but was a great "read" on a month-long overseas trip. ( )
  yukon92 | Jun 15, 2018 |
When Andrew Morton is the author of a royal biography, you sort of know what to expect. However, to my surprise, this was neither a fawning assessment nor a hatchet job on its subject. And while I didn't there was anything new to learn about Wallis SImpson and her relationship with the Prince of Wales, the author did surprise me. Who knew that Herman Rogers was really the love of her life?

Is this true or not, who knows? But is is a new twist on an oft-repeated tale. ( )
  etxgardener | May 29, 2018 |
I'd read a few things about Wallis Simpson previously, but this was the first book I read that traced her entire life. The author certainly does not make Wallis an overly sympathetic figure, discussing her social climbing attempts, resolute pursuit of divorce from two husbands, and lasting ambition to attain a royal title. She doesn't even appear to love the Duke of Windsor, the man who gave up the throne of Britain to be with her, but rather another man altogether. A good read for those interested in the history and royalty. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Apr 19, 2018 |
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Before she was the woman who enticed a king from his throne, Bessie Wallis Warfield was a prudish girl from Baltimore. Morton shows how she transformed from a hard-nosed gold-digger to charming chatelaine, taking us through Wallis's romantic adventures in Washington, China, and London.

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