The Last of the Duchess : The Strange and Sinister Story of the Final Years of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor
Intriguing, suspenseful, and witty, this is the story of journalist and novelist Caroline Blackwood's search for the late Duchess of Windsor. It is also a provocative exploration of the often bizarre connection between heightened celebrity and approaching death--in Blackwood's words, "the fatal effects of myth." First serial to New York Times Magazine.
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 Ma�tre 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. Ma�tre Bloom firmly takes over this book. A few derivative chapters cover the well-known details of Wallis Simpson's early life, but Ma�tre 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. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
October 02, 2012
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.