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Wallis in Love: The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, the Woman Who Changed the Monarchy

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3.54  ·  Rating details ·  2,150 ratings  ·  283 reviews
For fans of the Netflix series The Crown and from the author of the New York Times bestseller 17 Carnations comes a captivating biography of Wallis Simpson, the notorious woman for whom Edward VIII gave up the throne.

"You have no idea how hard it is to live out a great romance." -- Wallis Simpson

Before she became known as the woman who enticed a king from his throne
...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published February 13th 2018 by Grand Central Publishing
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Average rating 3.54  · 
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 ·  2,150 ratings  ·  283 reviews


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Katie B
I've been wanting to learn more about Wallis Simpson for awhile now. I didn't know much about her other than she was twice divorced when she married the former king and both of them may have been Nazi sympathizers. I was hoping by reading this book I would learn more about their Nazi connections and just what it was about this woman that made a king give up everything for her.

She really was a piece of work, that's for sure. I pretty much came to the conclusion that you can't really trust anythin
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*TUDOR^QUEEN* (on hiatus)
This advance reader copy was provided by Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley.

Years ago when I still thought that Wallis Simpson and David Windsor were a match made in heaven and soulmates, it was such a romantic vision. It was very disheartening over time to learn that although the former king worshiped the ground Wallis walked on, the twice-divorced American Mrs. Simpson was just looking to become HRH queen at his side. Her whole existence revolved around elevating her social position. In th
...more
Laurie
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
On June of 1896, Bessie Wallis Warfield was born. In November of that same year, her tubercular father died. Her mother was two months pregnant when they married, which gave her a bad start in the social life in the south. Her mother’s father and step-mother did not offer to take them in. The only family that offered to take care of mother and child was uncle Sol Warfield, who Wallis thought of as a grumpy miser. He allowed them to live with him, and provided enough money to feed them, and event ...more
Louise
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Author Andrew Morton interprets the factual record to validate my impression: Wallis was an extraordinary social climber and Edward (David) never wanted to be king. They were convenient for each other and both had to live with the aftermath. Morton does not start with this thesis: it evolves through the presentation of Wallis and how she snared the needy and uncertain prince.

Wallis, by all accounts, was fun loving, and within her moribund society, considered witty. In the days when most women co
...more
David Dennington
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The intriguing story of a weak, foolish king, scorned and treated like a lap dog by Wallis Simpson. Much to the social climber’s annoyance he gave up his throne for her. As it turned out, England was better off. His brother George made a fine king, bringing about Elizabeth, who has also done a fine job during her long reign. The ex-king begged to be allowed back into the fold, while at the same time cozying up to Hitler and his Nationalist Socialist Worker’s Party. But he did not succeed. At the ...more
Sarah
Thanks to goodreads and the publisher for a free copy of Wallis in Love. This is a well-written, informative biography of someone who I find next-to-impossible to like. Kudos to the author for making this such an interesting read. Would definitely recommend to people who enjoy non-fiction and particularly biographies related to the royal family.
Simon
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
There is nothing in this book that has been "untold", since people have been writing about the Duchess of Windsor for decades. She was (and remains) a woman with a lot of enemies. Wallis was also someone who accomplished nothing at all, or at least nothing that has lasted. You don't get many admirers because you dressed well, set a fantastic table and kept attractive homes. She was important from January-December, 1936, when Edward VIII was King of England. Morton challenges even that, since he ...more
Casey Wheeler
This book is an interesting read and is well written and researched. The author points out in clear detail that this was not a woman who was in love with the Duke of Windsor, but had a history of plotting and social climbing to obtain what she wanted. Unfortunately, for her, her relationship with David Windsor did not result in her becoming Queen. In many ways, her life was much less than what she had planned for herself.

I recommend this book to anyone who had an interest in the relationship bet
...more
Sandy
Mar 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I was under the mistaken impression that Wallis Simpson was a misunderstood woman who fell in love with the King of England. My eyes have been opened to the truth.

Wallis was a young girl who felt she deserved the best of everything. Men were her stepping stones to get what she wanted. She was a very selfish person who didn't care who she hurt or who she used to get what she wanted. Her very calculated way of moving up the ladder hurt many people; men who loved her and women who were her friends.
...more
Grace
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Author Andrew Morton faced a herculean task - researching and crafting a biography of a wholly unlikable public figure who often sparks vitriol in the hearts and minds of people, even today. After slogging through this book, it's clear that Morton did little more than his due diligence in researching the Duchess of Windsor's (formerly Wallis Warfield, Winn, Simpson) whirlwind of a life. There wasn't much new information. And, in the process, he did a poor job of humanizing her, but maybe that wa ...more
Linda Lipko
Well written and interesting, this book follows Wallis Simpson from her early years through the end of her life. Vilified as the tramp who stole Edward from the throne, this book painted a different picture.

It was the future and short-lived role of King, that Edward clearly did not want. In many ways, Wallis helped rescue him, rather than how she is painted by many authors. He was a play boy who never really studied for the throne. His father in particular thought very little of him.

When her fa
...more
Laura Bray
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Interesting to learn more about her. She certainly doesn't come off well here; grasping and always wanting more, ultimately unhappy. But that has always struck me about her, even with my limited knowledge.

No doubt she fundamentally changed the monarchy. But the author has an interesting position: that she actually *saved* the monarchy by removing an unapologetic Nazi sympathizer from the throne of England in the run up to and during WWII (which would have been a disaster, needless to say). I don
...more
Bernadette
To satisfy my desire to learn more about Wallis Simpson, I chose this biography by Andrew Morton. What a horrifying story of a self-centered, social climbing, manipulative, gold-digging, cruel woman and the weak, sniveling, nazi-sympathizing man-child former king who gave up everything for her. Hardly the great love story they wanted people to believe.
Laurel-Rain
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
“You have no idea how hard it is to live out a great romance." -Wallis Simpson

Before she became known as the woman who enticed a king from his throne and birthright, Bessie Wallis Warfield was a prudish and particular girl from Baltimore. At turns imaginative, ambitious, and spoiled, Wallis's first words as recalled by her family were "me, me." From that young age, she was in want of nothing but stability, status, and social acceptance as she fought to climb the social ladder and take her place
...more
Terrie  Robinson
"Wallis in Love: The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, the Woman Who Changed the Monarchy" by Andrew Morton was just okay.

I'm sure Andrew Norton's writing was thoroughly researched. However, I have to say I have come across the same information I read within the covers of this book before. I have watched numerous documentaries and read several books about Wallis & Edward and their story before and after the Abdication. And, although I'm not an expert on this couple, just a reader, I was loo
...more
Annie Booker
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've never been a big fan of Andrew Morton's books. His collaboration with Princess Diana struck me more as the collaboration of 2 people each out to use each other than anything like "her true story". However, this is an excellent biography that is both fair and entertaining. ...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Wallis in Love" explores the life of Wallis Simpson, the woman who changed the course of the British Monarchy. Twice divorced, she charmed Edward VIII who ended up abdicating the throne. It was supposed to be a great love story but in many ways, it seemed only to imprison Wallis and Edward. Fairy tales are not always what they seem!

I love all things related to royalty so when I heard that Andrew Morton was coming out with this book, I jumped at the chance to read it! I knew about Wallis meeting
...more
Amy
I tried and tried to get into this, but just could not. I did look at the photos and skimmed and browsed through a few sections, but the story just never caught my attention.

A couple of interesting tidbits that I picked up: In her younger years, Wallis was known as Bessie. Imagine that name for a Duchess. Also, she and the Duke were not pleased when King George declared that Wallis would not be addressed as HRH. Finally, she did not enjoy living in what I would call a fishbowl, even after Edward
...more
Marin
Apr 06, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well written, insightful life story of a social climber who almost got hold of the highest prize.
She was lucky, getting a lot of help along the way, starting with the rich uncle Sol who funded her education and social life until she first got married and she almost instinctively knew how to play the others in order to climb the social pyramid, never looking back or caring about the damage she did to others.

The looks weren’t her main assets, she was far from being a stunning beauty but she bas
...more
Jena Henry
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before there was reality TV, and social media influencers, and before there was television, let alone the NetFlix drama The Crown, there was Wallis Simpson. How did a down on her luck Baltimore gal create the love affair of the century? She became famous for being famous through sheer force of will.

Was she a “socially ambitious viper, who would do anything, walk over anyone, to get what she wanted?” Possibly, but after reading this people-filled saga, I’m not sure even Wallis herself knew what
...more
Beth
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Judy Frey
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katie
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“She became rude, odious and strange. One had the impression she was either drugged or drunk.”

What a truly vile woman. I’ve always been curious about Wallis Simpson. What was so special about her that made a king abandon his country? Morton doesn’t dig into this too much, other than stating Wallis’ belief that, at their core, “all men really want is for someone to listen to them.” And to her credit, she listened to Edward VIII’s incessant blubbering about his princely duties, and his crushing, p
...more
Roberta
Sep 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I have read quite a few books about Wallis Simpson over the years, starting with "The Woman He Loved" by Ralph G Martin. I find her utterly fascinating, but the more I read about her, the less I like her. Along with thousands of other people, I cannot fathom what it was about her that made a king give up his throne.

This book takes a totally different tack than the others I've read. Andrew Morton dedicates this entire book to defining the relationship between Wallis and Herman Rogers, the only m
...more
Carol N
May 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Like many other young women, when growing up I thought that Wallis Simpson and Edward, Prince of Wales, were a match made in heaven. Theirs was truly a romantic marriage: however, over time I learned that although the former king worshiped the ground she walked on, the twice-divorced Mrs. Simpson was just looking to become his queen. Her whole existence revolved around elevating her social position and becoming the Queen, not loving her prince. What should have been a fairytale story with a beau ...more
Lyn
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very absorbing well-written and researched documentary on the life of Wallis Simpson (Duchess of Windsor) and the man she truly loved.
Joy
This was a very interesting audio-listen. I’m glad to have read it, because I didn’t know tons of detail about Wallis or the abdication. Wallis appears to have been a fascinating/complicated and not-particularly-appealing person, at least as cast in this book. It made me realize that I’m not used to reading kind of negatively-slanted biographies. (But I sensed the author was simply trying to be very fair and accurate; there was no agenda here, I don’t think. He showed both good and bad.) It also ...more
Gayle Noble
Biography of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor and her relationship with the former King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom.

I knew next to nothing about Wallis Simpson before reading this. I‘d vaguely heard about the abdication of Edward VIII, but not the details. I‘d imagined a love story, but it seems that Wallis was a bit of a social climber whilst Edward was a rather weak character & ultimately they weren‘t happy together. There was also the Nazi supporting aspect to consider. Overall I fou
...more
Cynthia
Apr 25, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want to read about Wallis Simpson, but made the mistake of picking up That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor first (and hated it because of how ridiculous it is), this is the book for you.

Wallis in Love is a very readable, well researched, balanced biography of the woman. The book focuses mainly on how Wallis met the Prince of Wales and how their relationship evolved over time. I would've liked a little more about the period of time following WWII, though the author d
...more
Bookish
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography-memoir
Wallis finally gets the royal treatment, though it’s a bit late to please her.
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Goodreads Librari...: Combine editions 2 15 Feb 13, 2018 11:47PM  

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Andrew David Morton (born 1953) is one of the world's best-known biographers and a leading authority on modern celebrity. His groundbreaking biography Diana: Her True Story was a #1 New York Times bestseller, as was Monica's Story, an authorized biography of Monica Lewinsky, and Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography. The winner of numerous awards, including Author of the Year, his other New York T ...more

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