The American Duchess: The Real Wallis Simpson

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The American Duchess, one Bessie Wallis Warfield Spencer Simpson Windsor, created one of the biggest scandals in the British royal family before such scandals were so highly publicized. She was vilified for stealing King Edward away from his royal duties and into the jet set lifestyle in which she shined. In this biography, Anna Pasternak has attempted to cast Wallis Simpson in a better light. In doing so, she paints Wallis as one being ensnared by the bright lights and accoutrements of royalty. The problem with this approach, however, is that it takes more than a reader’s willing suspension of disbelief to feel sorry for one who lives a life of high society with jewels, free rent in palatial villas, unlimited spending ability, and very little concern for the ramifications of her actions. The author does mention that Wallis was a volunteer in World War II during the war effort. She cannot totally explain, however, Wallis’ friendship and solicitous behavior toward Hitler and the German Reich. One would have to be particularly dense not to see the global ramifications of a state visit to the Third Reich.

If anyone emerges from this story as heroic, it is Wallis’ second husband who endured her social climbing, philandering, and royal adultery with aplomb, if not noblesse oblige.


Reviewed By:

Author Anna Pasternak
Star Count 3/5
Format Trade
Page Count 340 pages
Publisher Atria Publishing
Publish Date 2020-04-14
ISBN 9781501198458
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue July 2020
Category Biographies & Memoirs
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