The Diana Chronicles
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The Diana Chronicles

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  1,620 ratings  ·  316 reviews
Ten years after her death, Princess Diana remains a mystery. Was she "the people's princess," who electrified the world with her beauty and humanitarian missions? Or was she a manipulative, media-savvy neurotic who nearly brought down the monarchy?





Tina Brown knew Diana personally, knows her world, understands its players, and has far-reaching insight into the royals and th...more
Hardcover, 481 pages
Published 2007 by Century London
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Maggie
Shut up.

Brown's work starts out with such promise. She offers an insightful look at not only the development of Diana from small, shy child to media mogul, but also the changing face of the British press and media from the late 60s onwards. This well-written discussion lasts for the first 200 pages or so. Once Diana and Charles say "I Do", it's back to business as usual as Brown rehashes the same old cover stories, photo ops, and leaked phone recordings. She almost pulls it back together at the...more
Sue
My level of interest in this book fluctuated depending on the topic being addressed. The truth is, Diana Spencer was not an interesting person before she became involved with the royal family, and the sections about her early life could put you to sleep. The sections about Charles's early life, on the other hand, are pretty interesting. Reading certain sections was like watching a train wreck in slow motion; in many ways Diana was her own worst enemy, with an inability to learn from experience....more
Jojo
Why? Because someone left it at my house and because I just watched that movie "The Queen". The collective force of these two circumstances forced me to pick up the book and read it.

The book was okay. It's a pretty thorough examination of the Diana phenomenon, and it's well enough written for something of this sort, but in the end, it's just glorified celebrity gossip. The book tries hard to make us see that how the British feel about the monarchy is an important. I guess it is...to the British...more
Fergie
Ever since my cousin gave me an autograph copy of this book, I've had it in mind to read. As an Anglophile, I, like many Americans, am fascinated by Great Britain's royal family. And like many countless others, I was fascinated by the presence of Diana, Princess of Wales. Tina Brown paints a picture of Princess Diana that, while not shocking to anyone who ever had an inkling of her character flaws, seems still shocking in its stark truth telling (or at least the truth as Brown sees it). For inst...more
Lori
How could another book, and a 482 page book at that, on Diana possibly be entertaining or shed more light on the subject? Well, Tina Brown manages to do just that. Not only are the Diana Chronicles entertaining and very readable it begins by shedding a new light on Diana and the entire social climate of Britian during the eighties and nineties. Brown begins with a drama, the accident in Paris. Her writing is dynamic and flowing. It draws the reader in right away. No one can forget the images on...more
Erin
Where to begin... I had no real burning desire to learn more about Princess Diana than I had already gleaned from skimming 100+ People magazine articles written about her over the last 25 years but I had great hopes that this would be a well-written bit of summer fluff. I was sadly disappointed. The book starts off with a somewhat enlightening yet boring discussion of the British class system and the impact that that had on Diana and the selection of Diana to be Charles' wife. After that, it's a...more
Josie
ok, so i picked this one up not because of a previously undisclosed interest in princess di but because of my interest in tina brown. yes, really. at first i was really into it, but then it became deeply repetitive, down to iterations of cliches such as "such and such was catnip for so and so." not surprising from tina brown, it felt like a magazine piece that went on way too long. the beginning (flash-forward to her death) and the end (death, redux) were great. the middle not so much.

the bulk o...more
Kricket
After three weeks of lugging this giant tome onto the bus with me every morning, I'm finally finished. Several people asked, when spotting me with it, "why are you reading that?" Why indeed.
My fascination with Diana stemmed from childhood- there was a paper doll set involved, as well as the word "princess." I recall hearing about her divorce from Charles. I was sad when she died. But I didn't really know anything about her. Now I do.
Most interesting, I thought, were the chapters on her backgroun...more
Lena
Aug 21, 2007 Lena rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with a lot of time on their hands
Shelves: biography
I tried...I really did. I got half way through chapter 17 (out of 22) but I just couldn't finish. It is similar in purpose to Monarch: The Life and Reign of Elizabeth II and Lilibet: An Intimate Portrait of Elizabeth II, but very different in style. Those other two books are biographies very sympathetic to the royal family with only a touch of gossipy comments, but this one is written like a tabloid magazine (hmmm..how curious since the author wrote for Tattler Magazine in London.) At first as y...more
Chris
Too detailed, and yet, not detailed enough. You can't just say things like "Camilla's friends thought Diana had Borderline Personality Disorder" and leave it at that. Why did they think so? Did they say anything at the time, or is this a post facto diagnosis?

By the end I was thoroughly sick of Diana and Charles, neither of whom had/has a bit of sense. They both seemed smart enough, in different ways, but totally spoiled and not a bit strategic. I get the sense Brown was tired of them as well, a...more
Kathy
I liked this book and felt anew that Diana was not given a fair chance in tjhe royal family. She was indeed very immature and found life in the royal family very difficult. Much of the problem was that she was so likeable and so normal...not qualities the royal family sees as valuable. It is too bad that she abused herself as a way to cope and that she died just as she was coming into her own. Tina Brown, as a reporter for one of the tabloid newspapers covered Diana's activities and presents the...more
R.J.
I spent all Saturday and Sunday reading this. same old diana stuff. .but a strong Brown subtext and opinion. Diana was largely responsible for her own unhappiness and tragic end. She was smart in many ways but inflexible too marrying a fantasy that wasn't real and then falling apart almost from Day 1. Brown doesn't represent any times that diana tried to be interested in anything that her husband enjoyed, the outdoors, gardening--rather she wanted to be coddled and entertained.

It's one view but...more
Susan
When I first started this, I thought, S***, it's Ernest Hemingway and his Paris wife again. Puhleeeese!

I read this on my brother's recommendation. While it was informative and explained a lot, i'M still trying to figure out why the rules are so different for those of us who work for our money and those who play for theirs and live their lives "abroad." I'm not talking royal protocol here. I'm talking values, ethics, authenticity, love, family, etc. And not just the rules, but how they play the...more
Joant
Royalty interests me. With the upcoming marriage of Will and Kate sparking my interest, I picked up this book. It seemed an interesting history, but then Tina Brown got in the way. Honestly, sometimes it felt like she was shoving herself into the scenes she wrote. The last portion of the book was like reading a tabloid. "I'm told" is used a lot. However, I did admire her insights into English newspapers, Diana's media skills, and to England's surprising display of grief after Diana's death.
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)

LibrariAnne
I listened to this as an audiobook, as I had some driving alone to do and didn't have to please anyone but myself. Diana has always seemed such a sad, complex figure, and Brown's biography captured the different facets of her troubled personality. She also shines some light on the traditions of the monarchy which might well have done in a much stronger woman. She was so young and so invested in the mythology of romance, in contrast to so many girls of her generation. And she was a girl when she...more
Katie
I tried to read this book, but couldn't bring myself to finish it. The (completely unsubstantiated) sentences that broke the camel's back?

Women who love horses usually love sex. It is no accident that, for girls, the onset of puberty is often marked by an obsession with horseflesh.
Amy Platt
In my view Diana was an unsympathetic manipulator. I found myself feeling depressed when I read this book because she decided to live her life as a victim. Pitiful person.
Corene
I remember gobbling this book up back in 2007 when it was first published, and decided to listen it to it on audio, mainly because I knew I'd enjoy the narration by Rosalyn Landor. While the talking book more than held my interest as I went about other activities, I became aware of weaknesses in the writing. Tina Brown frequently editorializes and inserts her own reaction to some bit of news and there are a number of questionable quotes from books that preceded this one to publication. Yet she h...more
Joanne
This was a very descriptive biography especially in the beginning with all the royal genealogy. After the fairy tale wedding Diana, the people’s princess, brings the British monarchy out of their sheltered confines and into the public attention. It was a whole new concept that she thrived on. As she matured from her early 20s Shy Di to a women of her 30s enduring motherhood, her prince’s infidelity and divorce her fashion sense developed too. The book detailed a lot of tension within the royal f...more
Alissa
Intense, possibly TOO detailed, gossipy, schadenfreuderiffic fun.
Susan
You could call me a Princess Diana fan — a huge one, actually. I have been fascinated with her since she appeared on the scene when I was in high school. When she died, friends called me to check on how *I* was doing. I still think of her often. So, when I decided to read a book about her, it wasn’t with the expectation of really learning anything new. I really just wanted to kind of re-live her life again through words, and possibly see some big-picture themes to help make sense of a woman who...more
RNOCEAN
people's princess," who electrified the world with her beauty and humanitarian missions? Or was she a manipulative, media-savvy neurotic who nearly brought down the monarchy?Only Tina Brown, former editor-in-chief of Tatler, England's glossiest gossip magazine, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker could possibly give us the truth. Tina knew Diana personally and has far-reaching insight into the royals and the queen herself.In The Diana Chronicles, you will meet a formidable female cast and understand...more
Theresa
I really enjoyed this book. As someone who was too young to fully realize all of the details surrounding Diana's life and death, I thought Brown did a remarkable job. She not only showed her readers Diana through her own letters/comments/interviews, but gave us a glimpse into Diana's world, including some incredibly interesting insight into her own manipulations and love affairs. Brown also did a tremendous job of explaining Diana's legacy (humanitarian aid, a new monarchy, etc.) Also, it was an...more
Marsha
Oct 16, 2008 Marsha rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Princess Di fans
Recommended to Marsha by: Magazine book reviews
It took a while, but I finally finished this long book this morning. I did thoroughly enjoy this well-written, well-researched book. I think you do need to be a Princess Diana fan to read Ms. Brown's book. The author shows a lot of sympathy for Diana. A lot of the information I already knew from reading other books about Diana, but this was a good review and also gave a good perceptive on how the media got so interested in Diana as well as the public. As a young girl, Diana read romance novels a...more
Kathleen Hagen
The Dianna Chronicles, by Tina Brown. A. Narrated by Rosalyn Landor, provided by Books on Tape, and downloaded from Audible.
This is a book memoralizing dianna ten years after her death. Tina tells the story of Dianna and Charles meeting, of the things that led up to the decision that she was “right” for the Prince of Wales, her very hard road living in the palace both before and after her marriage, the constant interference of Camilla Parker Bowles keeping an affair alive with the Prince of Wale...more
Lynley
A while ago I came across a list of 'most embarrassing books to read in public', and this wasn't on it but probably should have been, because each person who has known about me reading this book has looked at me with mild horror. Why on earth would anyone be reading about Diana Princess Of Wales *now*, more than ten years after we've all got utterly jack of hearing about her life and death and all the inevitable conspiracy theories? Even if you didn't watch the shows, that grubbiness has been th...more
Eloise Meachum
I had a hard time putting this book down. Even though I knew how it was going to end and dreaded reliving that horrible event, reading The Diana Chronicles was akin to watching a train wreck and being unable to turn away.

Tina Brown is quite a gifted writer and, in that wonderful British way that I envy greatly, employs the perfect adjectives to express her thoughts. Ms. Brown interviewed more than 250 friends, family members, employees, etc. of Diana's, and perhaps since almost ten years had pa...more
Chemteacher

I picked this book up used because I haven't read any of these Princess Diana books and I was curious. It was worth the read because I actually had not read much about Princess Diana. At the time of her death, I was a little repelled by people crying in front of TV cameras over someone they didn't even know, like they did. I found it strange and I still do. Nevertheless I was curious about some things, so I picked up the book.

The book was exhaustive, even a little repetitive, but I got what I wa...more
Katy
May 22, 2011 Katy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in the royals
Recommended to Katy by: Alisa Webel
I debated between rating this a four-star or a five-star book. I REALLY enjoyed it. So much, in fact, that every day revolved on me squeezing in a page or two of Diana-related history. I gobbled up the strange little British factoids in this book ravenously and repeated them to my indifferent friends and family. "Did you know that the princess is expected to walk two steps behind the prince?" "Did you know that Fergie and Diana were the first to be publicly feuding celebrities?"

I am totally ent...more
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Tina Brown, Lady Evans (born Christina Hambley Brown) is a journalist, magazine editor, columnist, talk-show host and author of The Diana Chronicles, a biography of Diana, Princess of Wales, a personal friend. Born a British citizen, she took United States citizenship in 2005. She became the editor-in-chief of Tatler magazine at the age of 25, and rose to prominence in the American media industry...more
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