Royals. Love them. I seriously believe it's my 82% Brit roots, according to Ancestory DNA. I continue to love the comings and goings of all of them, and respect their ability to help bring good to things that may not have gotten attention.
That said, I am obsessed with Wallis Simpson. I have read everything I can on the woman who was hated by Americans and Brits alike. She has been described as a "wanton woman", a "hussy", and a gold digger. This book continues to dig into the real Wallis Simpson and reveals a different gal altogether.
The Real Wallis SImpson: A New History of the American Divorcee Who Became the Duchess of Windsor is a compelling book that outlines Wallis and her early history from a troubled family from Baltimore. Being a B'More girl myself, I have actually found the block where she lived, I am so interested in this fascinating story that changed the world. She grew up in a family who was at one time wealthy and recognized the need to "marry well", by debutante balls and only cavorting with the wealthiest of Baltimore's families.
So many conjectures about her sexuality, from being asexual, to being involved with women and multiple partners. We probably won't know that part ever, but it leans towards being quite the prude.
Abused physically and emotionally during her first marriage, Wallis married Ernest Simpson and outwardly appeared to have a lovely marriage built on true friendship. Ernest was wealthy and got invited to events where eventually he and his wife were introduced to the then future King of England.
It's said that the Prince was immature and emotionally stunted. He began to obsess on Wallis and invited she and Ernest to his parties and weekend adventures. This book chronicles letters of Wallis and others to state that the King chased her. She wasn't interested in him, but over years, the relationship became obsessive, and Wallis couldn't find a way out.
I loved this book, as it showed a different side of Wallis, although other books have also given us this interpretation of the whole affair. What is new here, is the way that history was changed, for the better, as Edward was likely a Nazi sympathizer, likely because of being outcasted from the royal family.
According to this author's research and writing, Wallis made her life to serve the Duke of Windsor and to make him happy. Even an outcast, they had a happy life together, because of her.
I give this book five stars for the amazing amount of research and it's ability to lead the story throughout her life. Wallis may have saved England from disaster from siding with Germany, by simply marrying Edward. Maybe we should all start to praise Wallis, rather than think of her as a gold digger that ruined the royal lineage.
Go buy it! So worth it.
Thanks to #NetGalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. #TheRealWallisSimpson #NetGalley
Reader, Traveler, Reviewer. Come join us as we travel the US in our RV. I review books.