The Last of the Duchess

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9780330339483: The Last of the Duchess

This is an investigation into the last years of the Duchess of Windsor. Once the epitome of glamour, Wallis Warfield Simpson Windsor spent her last days alone and ill in her Paris chateau, guarded by her lawyer Maitre Suzanne Blum. This book tells of the author's quest for the Duchess and her encounters with Blum. Blackwood came to the shuttered house in the Bois de Boulogne in 1980, commisioned by the "Sunday Times" to write a piece to accompany a photo-session with the Duchess by Lord Snowdon. But the photographs were never taken. Instead, Maitre Blum became the subject of both photographs and interview and her passion for the Duchess aroused Blackwood's curiosity. Why was the Duchess's lawyer so keen to prevent anyone from seeing her, even her oldest friends? What was it about the Duchess that evoked such depth of feeling in her lawyer? In answering these questions, this book takes the reader behind the facade of the Windsor myth to give an account of the life - and death - of the Duchess.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Novelist and journalist Blackwood has pulled off quite a coup here: she has written a biographical portrait of the late Wallis Simpson, duchess of Windsor, without ever having seen more of her than the outside of her magnificent house near Paris and a murky photograph taken through the window by an Italian paparazzo. In 1980, the Sunday Times of London sent Blackwood to interview the 84-year-old duchess for a piece to run with photographs by Lord Snowdon, Princess Margaret's husband. The assignment was dynamite, but the pair are stopped dead by Suzanne Blum, an 83-year-old eccentric and vitriolic French lawyer known as Maitre Bloom, who identifies so closely with the duchess that her life is a round of suing newspapers, perpetrating both lies and legends of her charge's beauty and good health. Maitre Bloom firmly takes over this book. A few derivative chapters cover the well-known details of Wallis Simpson's early life, but Maitre Bloom shapes every page with her tantrums and vanities. The portrait is interesting psychologically and one admires this poised effort to salvage an aborted assignment. However, the absence of denouement-neither Blackwood nor Lord Snowden make it past the ferocious protector-makes the reader wonder why she is paying this much attention to a little-known, if complex, eccentric. In the end, one can only feel sorry for both the obsessed and the object of her obsession.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

A strange book--no, a fascinating one--about a strange situation. Most everyone knows something of the story of the duke and duchess of Windsor. As King Edward VIII, he gave up the British throne in 1936 to marry American divorc{‚}ee Wallis Simpson, and they subsequently lived in France as little more than social butterflies. In 1980, novelist Blackwood was asked by the London Sunday Times to write an article about the widowed and elderly duchess of Windsor. Little did Blackwood know that a "total cordon sanitaire of silence" had been thrown up around the duchess by her forbidding lawyer, the infamous Ma{Œ}itre Blum. On more than one occasion, Blackwood talked with Blum, but never once was she allowed to visit the duchess herself. Indeed, Blackwood's book about the entire episode is less about the duchess of Windsor than about the cantankerous Blum, who is most definitely an interesting figure in her own right. Blackwood's amazing account of attempting to verify the duchess' state of health in the face of Blum's deterrents--a story that reads almost like a gothic novel--can finally be published now that not only the duchess but also her guard-dog lawyer are both deceased. (The latter actually threatened Blackwood with death if she published a negative word about her famous client!) Brad Hooper

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1.

Caroline Blackwood
Editore: Picador (1996)
ISBN 10: 0330339486 ISBN 13: 9780330339483
Nuovi Paperback Quantità: 1
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Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
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Descrizione libro Picador, 1996. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 330339486

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2.

Caroline Blackwood
Editore: Picador (1996)
ISBN 10: 0330339486 ISBN 13: 9780330339483
Nuovi Paperback Quantità: 1
Da
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Valutazione libreria
[?]

Descrizione libro Picador, 1996. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0330339486

Maggiori informazioni su questa libreria | Fare una domanda alla libreria

Compra nuovo
EUR 109,66
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