Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
The Diana Chronicles Hardcover – Large Print, June 12, 2007
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Princess Diana was "the best thing to happen" to the British royals "since the restoration of Charles II," concludes Brown in this dishy biography, and the royal family's error was not realizing that. It's tough to pigeonhole a peacock, but Brown, former editor of Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, tries, calling the late Diana a diva, "a siren of subversion" who "even as a small girl... had been dangerous when hurt." Brown shows how Diana excelled at manipulating the media; her in-laws could only stand by helplessly as she captivated the cameras by batting her eyes or lowering them in her trademark "Shy Di" look. So enamored of herself was Diana, according to Brown, that she claimed not to understand why a certain cardiologist preferred his work at the hospital to seeing after her. Brown interviewed more than 250 people, from Mikhail Baryshnikov (who found the late Princess "so much more beautiful than any photographs or TV") to a friend of Diana's late mother, who says that mum disapproved of her daughter's too hasty royal marriage and tried talking her out of it. In the battle of unpleasant revelations made by both sides in the Di-Charles battles, Brown speculates that Squidgy-gate was the product of MI5 bugging the royal phones. Brown gives her book a tabloid-lingo touch and can fall into melodrama (while everyoneo saw Di's life as a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, the author says, it "was becoming more like something out of Hitchcock"), but then, given the nature of the subject matter, a little melodrama is entirely fitting. However, the final portrait of Diana as a heroine who broke free of the royal bonds and changed the monarchy forever will be familiar to most readers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From Bookmarks Magazine
There are few who could delve as successfully into Princess Di's life as the celebrated Tina Brown, who combines her journalistic savvy with the gossip only an insider could know. While she stresses Diana's role in changing the relationship between the press and the House of Windsor, Brown offers plenty of juicy details, "varying from credible to melodramatic to weirdly sitcomlike" (New York Times)-from Diana's sexual relationship (remember Squidgy?) with Charles to her insecurities, her bulimia, the castles, the rivalries. Diana comes off as a bundle of contradictions, which was part of her appeal. If The Diana Chronicles is, in the end, a book partially built on others, it is nonetheless "a trashy (if delicious) tale ... rendered vividly mordant" (Wall Street Journal).
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
She did not, however, want for sympathy. All England and much of the world mourned her passing in a huge, spontaneous and amazing outpouring of love, respect and grief unequaled in our time except perhaps for the response of the American people to the assassination of John F, Kennedy. She remains enshrined, almost sanctified, in the memory of millions as a lovely, loving, tragic woman who died too soon.
In 482 pages this is the authoritative story of her life, But it is more than that: It is a long, sometimes sentimental, obituary written by a friend of Diana's who coincidentally is one of world's best journalists - and her talent shows.
Tina Brown had success from the start. At 25 she became the editor of Tatler, England's most famous glamour and gossip magazine; 6 years later she was Editor of the American equivalent - Vanity Fair - where she stayed for 8 years before leaving to revamp New Yorker magazine. She left New Yorker six years later (1992), had another publishing enterprise, then retired in 2005 to devote the next two years to writing this book; and she has done a good job. It's typical New Yorker feature style. - well written - beautifully written in fact - lots of trivia, factually accurate, detailed (almost too detailed - one tends to skim) and essentially non judgmental; and she had unusual entree to the actors in this drama and to their friends. As Lady Evans, the wife of Sir Harold Evans, editor of The Sunday Times, she was privileged to be a friend of Princess Diana and had better access to Palace sources than the rest of the press. She knew almost everyone involved, and she has used all this to describe the people and the times; but, superb journalist that she is, she has overlooked the essence of Diana's life - the sheer tragedy of it..
Tragedy both in the literary world and the real world involves a hero or heroine, a central character of uncommon valor or character who has one very human fault which brings about his or her untimely - usually terrible - death after which we have a catharsis of emotion. We truly grieve for him or her. Think Achilles or Hamlet or Cho Cho San or Agamemnon or poor Oedipus the blind.
Princess Diana fits the pattern perfectly. She was beautiful. She truly had a profound sympathy for the poor, the pitiful and the diseased; and she was able to translate this unaffectedly into help for their cause. "Thick as a plank" intellectually (her words), she was nevertheless unaffectedly charming, sincere, witty and loving. She was a true Princess in every sense of the word, a dedicated wife and consort to the Prince (initially), and always a loving mother to her two sons. She never failed in her public duties. In truth she was admired around the world for the way she performed them. She had courage. Real courage. She shook the hands of lepers, of AIDS victims and fought for the child victims of land mines, walking on dangerous but "cleared" paths through minefields to publicize their continuing danger. But she had one fault which eventually led her to the tunnel that night in Paris - her dream, the dream of a lovely not-too-well educated 17-year-old inexperienced bachelor girl who dreamed that she could marrythe Prince and become Queen of England.
Her dream came true at least in part. She did marry the Prince - in a memorable ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral, but she would never become Queen. Instead she entered into an impossible marriage to a man 13 years older, a man who lived a Royal life of staid tranquilityand who had never known another, a man with tastes broadly different from Diana's in almost every direction and a man who, no matter how much he tried, could never give his Princess the love any wife, royal or not, needs from her husband. Years before his marriage to Diana he had already given his love - the love Diana needed and deserved - to another woman, to Camilla Parker Bowles, and he could never retrieve that love from her and he never did.
The dream died hard, however. She did enter the castle. She was a Princess - nay, the Princess - and she played her part to perfection, but at a cost. In a loveless marriage where her every move was governed by custom and Royal routine she was a lovely bird in a velvet cage; and her personality, probably never the strongest, started to disintegrate. There was bulimia, a nasty eating disorder usually occurring in young adults (usually women) caused by low self-esteem. Eventually there were a couple of extra-marital affairs, also a sometime problem with some young marrieds. It has many causes but in Diana's case it was caused by Charles's consistent and flagrant cheating with Camilla. There was incessant stress caused by her non-stop schedule of appearances in Britain and abroad and there were incessant jealousies and quarrels caused by the constant propinquity of other Royals and the demanding schedule of their joint lives and there was always the problem of Charles and Camilla.
Finally there was divorce, other relationships and the end in that dark tunnel in the black of night. No playwright could construct a better ending to the drama; and I can imagine the opera which someone should write and the doleful tragic minor of the music - Puccini like - when at last the curtain comes slowly down on the stage which is empty save for a tendril of white smoke coming out of the mouth of the black tunnel stage center.
Tina Brown spares no one, Somewhat of a vulgarian, she tells it all, from telling us about Prince Charles' favorite coital position (something which I had always wondered about and needed to know!) to Princess Anne's apparent need for an "occasional roll in the hay" outside of marriage (glad to know that too!) to the routine infidelities of the upper classes and the routine of the Royal household and the inexcusable, almost criminal, personal trespasses of the British press.
I had to hold my nose through some of this gossip. However, I was struck by the fact that almost everyone who appears in this book cheated serially and continuously on wife or husband. This conduct was almost universally overlooked, even condoned, because the other party was equally active in someone else's bedroom. No marriage was stable in this society. Almost every family was dysfunctional; and money, title and a morally repugnant and socially useless lifestyle all came in the same package with class and aristocracy,
The same was also true also to a certain extent among the Royals, as those who are the direct descendants of the Queen Mother are known. However, they were and are just different. One does not become a Royal; one has no choice. One is born to the status and never leaves it. From birth to death there are nurses, tutors, equerries, chauffeurs, maids, cooks, butlers, valets, secretaries, to attend to every wish and every whim. If a Royal comes down a long carpeted hallway on the way to his apartment in Buckingham Palace and a passing servant can't hide , the servant stands respectfully with back to the wall, bowing until the royal has passed.
As described by Tina Brown (and I believe her) the Royal life is governed by habit, by custom and by convention. For example, for two months at the end of summer all- and I mean all - the Royals go to Balmoral in Scotland where they fish, picnic, shoot and ride. That wasn't Diana's "thing" but she did it. There are other conventions too. These complicate their lives, but just doing them, getting through them with grace is their job. Diana did these too - and well.
On the other hand the Royals are people too; they can't avoid their humanity. As described by Tina Brown (and again I think she's correct) the Royals come across as being like any other family in many ways. There is family unity and love as well as the same family problems most of us non-royals encounter as we go through our more prosaic life. Flung together as they are in a structured world and removed from the real world the Royals are a bit stiffer personally, a bit more reserved and less free than are those of us who have to bend to the world. Diana was a part of this family and this world. Yet she wasn't. She wasn't born to it; nor was she temperamentally suited for it. She was loving, outgoing and naturally charming. One can't say the same about most of the royals.
I think most Americans reading Tina Brown's detailed descriptions of Royal privilege and Royal life probably wonder why the British put up with it; and as an American for eleven generations and thus removed from my English ancestors since 1630 the Royal life is completely foreign to me as it is to most Americans. What we forget, however, is that the Royals represent their England to the British. They represent the same continuity of national pride and purpose, as does the Statue of Liberty or the Lincoln Memorial to Americans. But I have digressed. Back to Diana.
Before putting this document away I want to cover two topics - the press and Diana's legacy.
With respect to the press: The British tabloid press was and is a disgrace to the English-speaking world. Insincere, shallow, conniving, dishonest, malevolent, malicious, vile, intrusive and vicious it is essentially first and foremost selfish without a shred of responsibility , without decency or concern about what or whom they cover, and the press particularly takes on the Royals. Every secret, every confidence' every action appears in headlines. The Royals have no privacy. They are not persons to the press; they are objects. The extent of my contempt for the British press as described by Tina Brown is beyond my ability to state in words. It is my visceral reaction to their manifold intrusions into private lives, ruining reputations without truth or reason, buying confidences, trading in dishonesty while at the same time clothing themselves in sanctimonious honesty that offends me. While I think the dishonesty of the American press is a concern, that of the British press is beyond explanation and I am afraid it can only end in repression and censorship - which it richly deserves.
About Diana's legacy. It will be monumental. She was all of three persons rolled into one. She had the charm and looks of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, the genuine interest in social causes of Eleanor Roosevelt and the genuine selfless love for the poor, the unfortunate, the diseased and the oppressed of Mother Theresa. Most of the world does not yet realize how unique she truly was. Moreover she was and is the stuff for grand opera - a tragic story from the time she met Charles until that night in the dark tunnel where the first person on the scene was a photographer who paused to take her picture as she lay dying. So much for the British tabloids!
It's a good book, but it's long