Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Diana Chronicles” as Want to Read:
The Diana Chronicles
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Diana Chronicles

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  2,212 Ratings  ·  355 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? Only Tina Brown, former editor-in-chief of Tatler, England’s glossiest gossip magazine; Vanity Fair; and The New Yorker could ...more
Paperback, 576 pages
Published May 20th 2008 by Anchor (first published January 1st 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Diana Chronicles, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Diana Chronicles

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Aug 14, 2007 Maggie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 15, 2007 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: popculture
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
Aug 17, 2010 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 24, 2007 Jojo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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 the British
Oct 21, 2009 Lori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Cynthia Anne McLeod
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
Apr 15, 2009 Josie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 13, 2007 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 11, 2007 Kricket rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007, britain, biography
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
May 05, 2008 R.J. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 09, 2009 Kathy rated it liked it
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
Sep 17, 2011 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 20, 2011 Joant rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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)

Mar 30, 2008 Katie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 22, 2007 Alissa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intense, possibly TOO detailed, gossipy, schadenfreuderiffic fun.
Jan 09, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 27, 2014 Fergie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
JoAnna Studer
3.5 stars. My big takeaway here was that Diana was an immensely complicated person who had a lot of bad things happen to her and she didn't always choose the best path to come back from them. I remember the mass mourning when she died and then Mother Theresa was gone only a few days later. So sad.

This book was well written and I'm sure could have been 3 times as long but it gives a great overview of events. I did find myself googling often to supplement my knowledge or make connections to names
Dec 07, 2013 Lynley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
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
Dec 30, 2010 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When my friends Carol and Connie came to visit in November, they brought a stack of books. I selected The Diana Chronicles after I returned from my California trip.

I knew little about the particulars of Princess Di’s life: she loved her children very much, went through a painful divorce, was hounded by the media, had been involved with many charitable causes, and died in a horrible car crash.

Tina Brown gives us a detailed portrait of Diana’s difficult life. She did a prodigious amount of researc

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
Jan 10, 2016 Ben rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think everyone must know who Tina Brown is. She is one of those people, like Madonna and the Clintons, who were probably at their best in the 90s but who carry on implacably, going from Tattler to Vanity Fair to the New Yorker to Talk and then The Daily Beast and just keeping at it.

Surprisingly, I had only a little idea of who Diana Spencer was. I was old enough to know what was happening in the world when she died. But I didn’t. Between my own determined dweeb activities, reading The Three M
May 22, 2011 Graceann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
As readable and enjoyable as the occasional bit of literary trash may be, I make no mistake regarding the fact that that's what I was reading when I read The Diana Chronicles. Sarah Bradford is a biographer and, to date, she owns the bragging rights to the definitive book on Diana, Princess of Wales. Tina Brown has gone to previously-published books, magazine articles, and interviews with more than 200 people for her own take on the complicated Princess, her reluctant husband, and the woman who ...more
Sep 21, 2008 Marsha rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 17, 2009 RNOCEAN rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 29, 2007 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book because I was on vacation, and I thought it would be one of those fun guilty pleasure type reads. It was recommended to me by my mother, who is a reference librarian and likes non-fiction.
Well, it turned out to be a guilty pleasure, yes, but more pleasurable than I expected and less guilty. Sure, it's a bit voyeuristic, but it's also well-written, well-researched, sympathetic, human, and sometimes just really funny. When Charles attended a Live Aid concert in a blue suit an
May 08, 2011 Katy rated it really liked it  ·  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
Eloise Meachum
Sep 22, 2011 Eloise Meachum rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • After Diana: William, Harry, Charles, and the Royal House of Windsor
  • Diana
  • William and Harry: Behind the Palace Walls
  • The Way We Were: Remembering Diana
  • The Royals
  • Diana: Her New Life
  • Diana in Search of Herself: Portrait of a Troubled Princess
  • The Bodyguard's Story: Diana, the Crash, and the Sole Survivor
  • Diana: Story of a Princess
  • The Queen Mother: The Untold Story of Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, Who Became Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
  • Kate: The Making of a Princess
  • My Story
  • Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: A Life
  • Let Me Finish
  • Sharing Good Times
  • Grace
  • Once Upon a Time: Behind the Fairy Tale of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier
  • A Woman Named Jackie: An Intimate Biography of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis
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
More about Tina Brown...

Share This Book