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Author - Stephen Birmingham
Publisher - Little, Brown and Company
Edition - 1981
Binding - Hardcover
Language - English
Pages - 344
Condition - Used
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Born neither rich nor pretty, Bessiewallis Warfield worked hard to enter the refined society she considered her due. In class-conscious, turn-of-the-century Baltimore, she married first a handsome aviator, Winfield Spencer, and next a successful businessman, Ernest Simpson, whose sister tutored Wallis in the art of social climbing in London. As the couple was drawn into the Prince of Wales’ charmed circle of intimates, it soon became evident that “little Mrs. Simpson” had captured the Prince’s heart. \n \nBirmingham’s fast-paced, behind-the-scenes account reenacts the high drama that ensued: the Prince’s impatience to make the American commoner his bride; Wallis’s quiet preparations for a second divorce and her perilous isolation in the eye of the storm; the Royal Family’s cold disapproval of “that woman"; and the famous gentleman’s agreement between Edward VIII and the English press lords not to publicise the romance. \n \nOnce Britain’s “Prince of Golden Promise” became king, the days of promise were over. Duchess compellingly portrays the couple’s self-imposed exile of the next three decades. Finding their friends among the Parisian jet set, “the wandering Windsors” entertained lavishly in mansions Wallis decorated and jet hopped from Biarritz to Palm Beach with so much luggage that the press habitually counted their bags. \n \nBirmingham concludes with a moving tableau of the Duchess’s bedridden old age in a rented house in Paris, where she saw no-one but a small coterie of medical and household staff.
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