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Diana: The Portrait: Anniversary Edition Paperback – Bargain Price, July 1, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Coward's lavish book, updated for the 10 year anniversary of Princess Diana's death, is a rich but frustrating biography featuring iconic and candid photographs of the People's Princess from throughout her life. Those who've read the recently-released biography by Tina Brown, The Diana Chronicles, will find Coward's Diana a much more sympathetic figure, generally characterized as likable and humane in numerous interviews with friends, family and others who witnessed the power of her care and attention. Focusing largely on her good works, the book gets a new foreword by Nelson Mandela, who notes that "we can all insist, as she did, that nobody deserves to suffer from stigma and prejudice on top of their illness and disability." Unfortunately, the book's design is unwieldy, alternating between pages crammed with tiny, single-spaced text and stretches of largely uncaptioned photographs. Coward's thorough research is commendable, but a stronger edit might have cut less relevant interviewees (like Diana's father's neurosurgeon) in favor of a more detailed look at Diana's long love-hate relationship with the press. Still, the photos collected here, particularly the later portraits that open and close the book, highlight what the young Princess of Wales brought to so many: beauty, warmth and compassion.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

U.K. author, academic, journalist, and broadcaster Ros Coward is a regular contributor of features and political comment to the Guardian and Observer. She appears regularly on television as an arts and media commentator.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing; Anv edition (July 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0740767925
  • ASIN: B003O86JDW
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 10 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,759,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mandela: The Authorized Portrait was created by a team of award-winning writers, photographers, and researchers in collaboration with Mandela's closest living comrades from Robben Island, Mac Maharaj and Ahmed Kathrada. Among the narrative contributors are biographer Mike Nichol and three interviewers personally selected by Nelson Mandela: Ros Coward, Professor Tim Couzens, and Amina Frense.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Aalea1 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"Diana, the Portrait" is a beautiful compilation of pictures, stories, and events in Diana's life. Just like a portrait, it shows the princess at her best. This is not an expose and I'm glad it wasn't. The most poignant sections of the book are the parts dealing with Diana's tragic death. There are copies of Elton John's handwritten lyrics for "Good-bye England's Rose" as well as many of Diana's own letters. I received this as a gift, right after seeing the Diana exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in Fort Lauderdale. Many aspects of the exhibits are included in the "Portrait" and I think will be enjoyed by any fan of Diana's. It is a very flattering portrayal, as it should be.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Rose VINE VOICE on September 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one FANTASTIC and important book that portrays the undeniable heart, soul and courage of Diana, Princess of Wales, who cared so much about people, and sought to make so many positive changes in our world. Diana is still a living example of taking what you've got in life, and turning it around to make lasting and positive change for others. The book is extraordinary! It is a HUGE, beautiful coffee table size book that captures the true Diana. Rosalind Coward did one outstanding job. This book is an inspiration, and brings the truth about Diana to light. She is still a beacon in the dark, and her causes, thanks to this book, will continue to help others, just as Diana would have wanted them to. A MUST Buy and Read!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Allyn on July 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
What was Princess Diana REALLY like? Did she really have such an incredible impact on the charities she worked with? Deep down, was her personality as luminous and beautiful as many believed it was?

Since her death almost a decade ago, numerous authors have offered their opinions on Diana's personality, charity work, marriage, and entire life. Some have been worshipful (Andrew Morton's "autobiography"), some have been disturbing (Sally Bledel Smith's examination of Diana's personality), and some have totally illuminated an area of the late princess's life.

"Diana: The Portrait" falls into the latter category. The first thing Diana fans will notice is the abundance of stunning, high-quality photos from every phase of Diana's life. And these photos aren't just the same tired images. They are rare snapshots from the Spencer family collection and in many cases, ones that have never been seen by the public before. Even if you have other photography-oriented Diana books (I own two), this one is gorgeously superior.

This volume also includes text with extensive detailings of Diana's charity work and her phenomenal rapport with "ordinary" people. Many Diana-themed books talk about her devotion to particular issues (like AIDS and land mines) but never fully discuss what she did or talk about her actions' tangible impacts. I have read a variety of books about the princess since her death and I have NEVER read a book that showed her impact on so many people so well or included so many varied sources praising her work.

For better or for worse, "Diana: The Portrait" barely touches on some of the darker and more controversial issues of Diana's life. It mentions her divorce and the overwhelming changes she faced after her marrige, but "mentions" is the key word.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By L. Gray on September 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Finally a book that doesn't attempt to portray the Princess as some sort of demon. What is emphasized again and again is that this was a very young woman, with no royal experience who accepted a new role with grace and humor. Her ability to connect with people is demonstrated over and over. The book is beautifully done with simply beautiful photos!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Fletcherfan on November 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I love Princess Diana. I love Diana so much that I went to Althorp to pay my respects to her. This book, Diana: A Portrait brought back those memories. The book is filled with photos of Diana throughout her life, not just when she was a princess. Many of the photos come straight from items that are on display at the exhibit at Althorp, such as her school uniform and report cards. I feel that the book is a companion to that visit I made. If you get the opportunity to go to Althorp, by all means do go. If you can not get to Althorp, this book brings the Althorp exhibit and feeling to you. The photos are beautiful as is the text about Diana's life. The price tag is steep, but this book is a must for a Diana fan. As the exhibit says: The work continues.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tara Falcon on March 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book quite admirably depicts Diana at all stages of her life, and in the manner that she would have been honoured to be seen.

The book itself is quite heavy, with thick pages and full color breathtaking photographs that capture the essence of Diana, who we dearly miss.

A portion of the proceeds supports her memorial charitable fund, so her work can continue. If you loved Diana, you will love this book as well.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Burchfield on November 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best books written about the late Princess that I've ever seen.

Early on in the book there's a list of people who contributed to it, (quotations mostly), celebrities & common people too. Not too many surprises- I didn't expect to see the Fayed family represented, (they are mentioned in 2 or 3 quotes)but I was surprised to see Andrew Morton, Ken Wharfe, and Patrick Jephson because they'd all been not the most flattering in her name. Morton is the most extensively quoted, makes himself sound better than what I remember history showing. Paul Burrell gets not a whisper (unless someone mentoned him in their own bits)but then that's probably because he & the Spencer family don't get along these days.

There are also copies of several different drafts of Charles Spencer's famous eulogy and I think even a couple of variations of Elton John's "Candle in the Wind".

The main part of the book covers the various stages of Diana's life from birth onwards to the aftermath since her death, lots of material here with a lot of detail, some of it I think might even be new material. You'll find almost no Royal/ Charles bashing and only a hint of Diana's troubles beyond the mention that her marriage wasn't always happy and the eating disorders (most of what you do get of that relates it to her work in life).

I found it fascinating to read about the charity things she did and the work that they've done since then, the funeral items were also of interest & mostly different from what I've read before. The pictures were mostly things we've all seen before, you won't want to buy this book for them alone, but as Tim Graham is quoted, "She was very easy to photograph. You had to be a pretty useless photographer if you didn't get a good picture of her.
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