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Dancing with the Devil: The Windsors and Jimmy Donahue
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Dancing with the Devil: The Windsors and Jimmy Donahue

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  125 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
The story of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor is one of the most romantic of all time: Edward VIII abdicated his throne and gave up an empire so that he could marry the woman he loved, American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Very few people suspected, and even fewer actually knew, that the Duchess cuckolded him—and almost gave him up—for a gay playboy twenty years her junior.

Hardcover, 272 pages
Published January 17th 2001 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2000)
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What's fascinating about this account is not so much the scandal with the Windsors, although that adds even more layers of patina. What keeps the reader enthralled here is anthropology, really. Viewing the relentless pursuits of the senselessly rich and priveleged classes is like going on a wildlife safari in the most exotic and forbidden game reserve around. Spotting Astors, DuPonts, Morgans, Mellons, Wanamakers, Cunards, and various crowned heads -- is the order of the day here, and watching t ...more
Apr 16, 2011 Kiwiflora rated it liked it
The irresistible combination of royalty, money, sex, and scandal- continually fascinating and intriguing. But why? Well, we don't really know the answer to that, but we still soak up the bizarre and self-destructive behaviours of the rich and famous. And in the 1930s there were none more rich and famous and self- destructive or self-absorbed than the Prince of Wales, David, and his complete infatuation with the American divorcee Wallis Simpson. So infatuated was he that when he became King on th ...more
Dec 27, 2015 Lisa rated it it was ok
This book is about the relationship between the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and extremely wealthy heir to the Woolworth fortune, Jimmy Donahue. There was a period of about 4 years in the early 1950s where this threesome was seen everywhere in the jet set/nightclub scene. The author's contention is that the Duchess and Jimmy Donahue had a four-year affair, with the Duke aware of it and looking the other way since he was so obsessed with the Duchess. Adding to the strangeness of this relationship ...more
Jul 15, 2014 Kristen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Potentially interesting -- the Duchess of Windsor involved in a torrid, multi-year affair with a flamboyantly gay Woolworth heir -- the book falls flat.

First (and most annoying), it's riddled with errors. For instance, it repeatedly refers to Marjorie Merriweather Post as "kin" to the Donahues. Maybe in a roundabout way -- Post was briefly Donahue's aunt's sister-in-law -- but that's close enough to make them "family" in this book. Names are spelled wrong, dates slip around...bad editing. See e
Alshia Moyez
I loved this book, loved reading about the Duke & Dutchess of Windsor (even thought I like them more in the earlier years). The book was enjoyable but there were some parts that reminded me of another bio I read : Boulevard of Broken Dreams, in that the author reaches too much and speculates too much on the "sexual relationship" between the Duke & the heir to the Wolworth five and dime store fortune. This book caught me off guard by suggesting some weird threesome between the Duke, the D ...more
Lily OnTheLam
Nov 27, 2012 Lily OnTheLam rated it liked it
I was tickled that author Christopher J. Wilson had the same thought I did after reading Caroline Blackwood's "Last Days of the Duchess" - in that we both wanted to know more about the life of Woolworth heir Jimmy Donahue. It was interesting and overall sad - those who have the most seem to do the least with it - but it was a good companion piece to the more interesting "Last Days of the Duchess."
Rick Segers
Aug 21, 2013 Rick Segers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a fun book and I don't often say that about non-fiction. It was a non fiction trash novel. It included not only Donahue's trashiness in life with and without the Duke and duchess but all aspects of his life. It also covered they way his mother treated him that led him to his debauchery.
I did not know much about the Duke and Duchess so it filled in some information for me there as well.
Oct 06, 2009 Kathy rated it liked it
I find it hard to believe that the legacy of this couple is one of the great love stories. Doesn't anyone know the not-so-well-kept secret that the marriage was a farce, and he abdicated the throne for a woman that he didn't even have sex with?
May 07, 2009 Sharon rated it it was ok
Hard to believe a book about the duke and duchess of windsor's friendship with a notorius party boy could be boring, but it really was. Wasteful, shallow people. Just my speed. Can't recommend though.
Delicious trash reading!
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For 20 years a leading Fleet Street journalist with columns in The Times, Sunday Telegraph, Daily Express and Today, he is now a best-selling author whose seminal biography of Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, is the acknowledged source material for all other books and TV films on the subject. The book, A Greater Love - Charles and Camilla, was turned into a top-rated TV documentary screened in th ...more
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