THE DUCHESS OF WINDSOR by Diana Mosley

THE DUCHESS OF WINDSOR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Diana Mosley--sister of Nancy and Jessica Mitford, wife of Sir Oswald Mosley--was acquainted with the Windsors, and as far as she's concerned the Duchess was a trump and the two lovebirds lived happily ever after. That's not, of course, what we've been hearing from others (especially not Murphy and Bryan, in The Windsor Story); and it's apparently they who prompted this vapid defense. Mosley glides over Wallis' first 36, pre-Edward years without reference to anything untoward, however well established; the title notwithstanding, she spends more time (to little purpose) on Edward's lineage and his unloving parents. Her account of the great romance is totally undramatic but otherwise conventional, except that she credits Wallis' assertions that she never wanted to be Queen or wished Edward to abdicate. Once they're on their own, we hear that he wasn't really stingy; that only he, not she, minded her not being a Royal Highness (and neither was ""bitter""); that she devoted the rest of her life to his happiness; that he never faltered in his love for her, never regretted his idleness, etc. The Duke's seeming weakness for Nazism--about which Mosley, as the wife of Britain's leading prewar fascist, might have been expected to have something special to say--is handled with circumspection: pure interest in Germany and German accomplishments prompted his visits (""he was anything but a Nazi""); Hitler's interest in him, as an ex-ruler, was minimal (""I . . . cannot remember hearing him mention the Duke or the Duchess""). About half the book consists of photos--news-agency pix, largely--and all of it is pap.

Pub Date: Dec. 5th, 1980
Publisher: Stein & Day