That Woman

That Woman

The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor

Book - 2012
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The first full scale biography of Wallis Simpson to be written by a woman, exploring the mind of one of the most glamorous and reviled figures of the Twentieth Century, a character who played prominently in the blockbuster film The King's Speech.

This is the story of the American divorcee notorious for allegedly seducing a British king off his throne. "That woman," so called by Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, was born Bessie Wallis Warfield in 1896 in Baltimore. Neither beautiful nor brilliant, she endured an impoverished childhood, which fostered in her a burning desire to rise above her circumstances.

Acclaimed biographer Anne Sebba offers an eye-opening account of one of the most talked about women of her generation. It explores the obsessive nature of Simpson's relationship with Prince Edward, the suggestion that she may have had a Disorder of Sexual Development, and new evidence showing she may never have wanted to marry Edward at all.

Since her death, Simpson has become a symbol of female empowerment as well as a style icon. But her psychology remains an enigma. Drawing from interviews and newly discovered letters, That Woman shines a light on this captivating and complex woman, an object of fascination that has only grown with the years.

Publisher: New York : St. Martins Press, 2012
ISBN: 9781250002969
Branch Call Number: 941.08 SIM 2012
Characteristics: xi, 344 p., [24] p. of plates : ill. (some col.)

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athompson10 Apr 15, 2015

Fair and balanced account. Much more in-depth than most about Wallis and her motivations and upbringing. Some of the psychological speculation is a little annoying.

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cvig
Aug 25, 2012

An interesting, unbiased biography of the American woman who became the Duchess of Windsor. Wallis Simpson was crucified by the British public as the immoral woman who stole the heart of their darling King, causing him to abdicate so they could be married, as she was already twice divorced and disallowed to become Queen. The author tells the story from Wallis' perspective, discussing her unstable childhood and need to find security through a good, prosperous marriage match. She discovers through her research that the Duchess didn't always want the King to abdicate and many times tried to break off their lifelong love affair. This book also has many fashion and decor side notes for those interested in the frivolity of life as a royal! Ultimately, as sad love story between two people in the world spotlight.

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Blueweed
Jul 25, 2012

Fascinating - especially for the yeras before she met King Edward. I do question the speculation that Wallis may have had a hermaphrodite-like condition (who knows really, due to the secrecy/shame issues around that at that time). I found this a great background for the many films/tv series on the notorious pair (the most riduculous being Madonna's "W.E." and the best was a DVD from SPL - "Edward & Mrs. Simpson" (1981).

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claire1953
Jul 08, 2012

Not the first book I've read on the Duchess, this one confirms what other books did not explain as clearly: in her desire for wealth, power and excitement, Wallace Simpson became trapped in a situation and a relationship she did not want, that is to leave Ernest Simpson to marry Edward VIII. Since David renounced the thrown for her, she had no choice but to go ahead with it. Although devoted to each other, the Duke and Duchess were to share the next thirty years while living a life devoid of true meaning. Described as the most fascinating love story of the twentieth century, the life of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor Is nothing but an empty one.

Valerie J Fletcher Jun 18, 2012

As much as you want to root for Wallis and David, when reading the book you realize how shallow and vain they both were. They were all for the show and rubbing their imagined stature in other peoples faces. David would have made an awful king as he just wanted a nanny and neither David nor Wallis would ever have been able to put their subjects first. Hurrah for the Royal Family for standing up for morals and sticking to their guns.

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ef434
Mar 05, 2012

An in depth account of Wallis Simpson all the way up to her last days!
Most revealing!

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