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Wallis and Edward: Letters 1931-1937 (The Intimate Correspondence of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor) Hardcover – May 1, 1992


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Wallis and Edward: Letters 1931-1937 (The Intimate Correspondence of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor) + That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor + The Last of the Duchess: The Strange and Sinister Story of the Final Years of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st edition (May 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671612093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671612092
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #618,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

By the end of this fascinating and superbly edited collection of the 1930s letters of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, one comes as close as possible to knowing the writers. In contrast to the popularly accepted picture of a scheming woman, Wallis in particular comes across as a likeable, vibrant woman who got caught up in something she didn't understand. Bloch's extensive commentary is very readable and greatly enhances understanding of the letters. Rarely does a book combine, as this one does, great popular interest and historically important revelations. An essential purchase for most academic and public libraries. Pat Ensor, Indiana State Univ. Lib., Terre Haute
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Judy H. on January 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading this book again. It had been a while, and I was curious after reading the other reviews to see if I agreed.

Well, yes and no.

The Windsors were shallow and self-centered (astoundingly so), no question about that. But I found the story of the abdication written entirely from their points of view to be very revealing. Arguments can be made, of course, that none of it makes any difference at this remove in time, but being able to read, in their own words, about the thoughts (some breathtakingly puerile) and actions of 2 people who changed history because they were so self-involved was a treat.

I do recommend this book to anyone who is interested in this period of English history. It's a window into a vanished world.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jill on January 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I take this book off the shelf and re-read it quite often. To me it's interesting on two levels - as a glimpse into the famous romance, and also as a 1930s social history set in early 1930s London. Note that not all of the letters are from/to Wallis and Edward - many are from Wallis to her namesake aunt, Bessie Merryman, in Washington D.C. I think is a good thing, as these are as interesting (perhaps more) than the letters between the couple. Wallis' famous wit is evident as she conveys to her aunt the (carefully controlled!) stories of her social life, which gradually comes to be dominated by the Prince of Wales. In 1931, Wallis and Ernest Simpson were well off, employing a maid, cook, personal maid, and chauffer. In the course of the letters, the Depression begins to take its toll on Ernest's business, even as he and Wallis were moving in bigger and better social circles. The detailed descriptions Wallis gives her aunt of servant troubles, running a house, entertain, and keep up her wardrobe, etc. may seem banal to some, but I think it's fascinating. Everyone was under pressure to keep up appearances unless so well padded with money that they didn't feel the pinch, such as Edwina Mountbatten (Edwina Mountbatten: A Life of Her Own) or the Curzon sisters (The Viceroy's Daughters: The Lives of the Curzon Sisters); I'd say Wallis did far more on a lot less than other women of her circle. The letters reveal that she could be just as chic in inexpensive dresses that Aunt Bessie picks out for her in Washington as she later would in Mainbocher originals.Read more ›
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Shannon Sullivan on August 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I fell in love with the story of the Duke and Duchess after reading the love letters in this book. The touching and informative letters help the reader to understand the true love between these two lovers and the sacrifice Edward made in order to have his one true love. I don't know any other person who could do that. Certainly not our current Prince of Wales. This book shows that true love is still a powerful thing. Read it if you love history at all. It is more than just love letters. It is also a very good account of the way life was during the Depression.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ann J on February 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was an enjoyable addition to my collection of resources dealing with world affairs and what life was like during the thirties and forties.
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Format: Hardcover
Absolutely fascinating and incredibly informative with the author's notes in between the actual letters. Reading Wallis and Edward's correspondence gives you a much better idea of what their romance was like as opposed to what various biographies (and memoirs!) are trying to make it to be. Also, random notes and observations of the day help the reader imagine the life in Great Britain and the rest of the Europe in 1930s. An excellent read!
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