I received this book for free from netgalley in exchange for my honest opinions/ review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Wallis: A Novel by Anne Edwards
Published by Endeavour Press on April 1991
Genres: historical fiction
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What was it about Wallis Simpson that made Edward VIII give up his throne?
The twice-married Southern Belle was neither rich nor beautiful.
Yet somehow, she managed to capture the heart of a British king.
Was Wallis just a proud and wildly ambitious manipulator, willing to use the men she loved as stepping stones to riches and success?
Or was she a courageous and sympathetic survivor, bravely struggling for self-esteem and the world’s respect?
More than anything Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, was an unforgettable heroine.
Marriage at eighteen, as a vivacious Southern belle, taught her what it is to be an abused wife; her second marriage, to the oh-so-English Ernest Simpson, saved her from her extraordinary past and led her to an even more extraordinary future.
But the Baltimore Belle has a battle ahead of her.
Not only does Wallis have to contend with the icy reception of some of the prince’s inner circle and the increasing press frenzy, but she has to win the trust of the British people in a society where divorce is frowned upon.
And when George V dies and the prince becomes King, the love that the young monarch feels for Wallis creates a constitutional crisis, urging him to make a decision which will change the course of British history.
Far more than a portrait, more telling than a biography, ‘Wallis: The Novel’ brings Wallis Warfield Spencer Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, vividly to life.
A gripping work of historical fiction of an enigmatic and mysterious American woman breaking into the British limelight.
Praise for Anne Edwards:
‘Perceptive and well researched, Wallis is a compelling and fascinating read about the controversial woman who rocked the throne of England.’ — Barbara Taylor Bradford.
Wallis is Anne Edwards's seventh novel, her first in over fifteen years during which time she has been acclaimed all over the world for her biographies, including 'Matriarch: Queen Mary', 'House of Windsor' and 'Royal Sisters: Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret'.
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Overall, I was very disappointed with this book.
Wallis is written very one-sided – she’s a shallow gold-digger and not much else. No one has just one side to them. The book isn’t well-researched at all, there are a lot of historical inaccuracies (that I looked up just to make sure it wasn’t me who was wrong, and I don’t mean I did my research on the internet). There are some details in the book about Edward the III that are fascinating, but I’m pretty sure they are entirely made up, but who’s to know because there is no author’s note informing us of this fact – perhaps acceptable when this book was first published, but not in today’s book world.
I also found the book dragged throughout the first half – it was all I could do to read the long, long pages of Wallis’ childhood and the drama she lived through. There is no doubt Wallis led an interesting life, but we aren’t reviewing Wallis’ life here, we are reviewing a historical fiction book that had too much imagination, not enough facts, and definitely was lacking in setting the scene so you felt like you were in another world.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: