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Review: The King and Mrs. Simpson, by Erin Frances Schulz

The King and Mrs. Simpson is the story of one of the 20th century’s greatest love stories—a prince’s abdication of the English throne in favor of marriage to an American divorcee.

This short book opens in 1936 on the eve of the abdication, and jumps back in time to certain events in Edward and Wallis’s pasts. Although this book had promise, it fell short of my expectations. The prose is over-simplistic, written like a high schooler’s history paper, and the chapters aren’t really chapters, just floating paragraphs that get their own pages. I understand that Schulz is trying to present the material in a way that will interest people new to the story of the Windsors, and that this book is not in any way a definitive biography of them, but I thought that she talked down to her reader a little bit, and that was a major turn-off for me. In addition, I was dismayed to find that there’s only one reproduction of a photograph of Wallis and Edward in this book.

That said, however, I thoroughly enjoyed the story itself, and I liked how the author tied the story of Edward and Wallis back in to the larger events of the period. Since Schulz bases her facts and dialogue on the memoirs of Edward and Wallis (or WE, as they called themselves), she tells the story from the point of view of the couple. It’s a highly romanticized view, yes, but enjoyable nonetheless. This is the kind of book I’d recommend to people who are new to the story of the Windsors, but not to hardcore Anglophiles like myself.


Marg said…
This story is definitely one of the more interesting romances of the 20th century! I must try and find a good non-fiction book on it!
Audrey said…
I've been find books about the English monarchy (from Queen Victoria on) fascinating lately. I just read The Little Princesses, by Marian Crawford, who was Elizabeth and Margaret's nanny (and fell into disgrace for writing what is a very gentle and positive book about their childhoods). I'll look for this one at the library.

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