Behind Closed Doors

Behind Closed Doors Writing about Hugo Vickers s last book for Hutchinson Elizabeth The Queen Mother a succession of fellow biographers applauded Vickers s unique skill Masterly Hugo Vickers s long immersion in the hi

  • Title: Behind Closed Doors
  • Author: Hugo Vickers
  • ISBN: 9780091931551
  • Page: 416
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Writing about Hugo Vickers s last book for Hutchinson, Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, a succession of fellow biographers applauded Vickers s unique skill Masterly Hugo Vickers s long immersion in the history and dramatic personae of the Royal Family has certainly paid off Selina Hastings A bulging plum pudding of insider snippets , commented Robert Lacey An ovWriting about Hugo Vickers s last book for Hutchinson, Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, a succession of fellow biographers applauded Vickers s unique skill Masterly Hugo Vickers s long immersion in the history and dramatic personae of the Royal Family has certainly paid off Selina Hastings A bulging plum pudding of insider snippets , commented Robert Lacey An overall portrait which may well be as close as anyone will ever get to the truth , said Craig Brown And A.N Wilson added admiringly, There is a small handful of British royal biographies which have acquired classic status It is a truly magnificent book Hugo Vickers knows his subject through and through Hugo Vickers has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Royal Family, and has had a fascination with the story of the Duchess of Windsor since he was a young man There have been a number of books about this doomed couple and Channel 4 is very interested in doing a programme based on Hugo s text , but this book brings a new perspective on the story by focussing on the later years of exile.While Vickers has his own theories about the Abdication itself, and he makes it very clear that Mrs Simpson did not lure the King from the throne, the drama of this narrative comes from the criminal exploitation of an old sick woman after the death of her husband She was ruthlessly exploited by a French lawyer called Suzanne Blum Some members of the Royal Family, like Mountbatten and the Queen Mother, don t emerge with much credit either.Using previously unpublished papers and other personal testaments, Hugo Vickers relates a tragic story which has lost none of its resonance over the years since the Duchess died in 1986.

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    1 thought on “Behind Closed Doors”

    1. Hugo Vickers, in his latest biography of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, has produced a solid account of their lives and of those around them. Vickers begins at the end; the Duke's death in 1972 and the Duchess's death in 1986. And he introduces a relatively little known character into the saga of the Duke and Duchess - the French lawyer, Suzanne Blum. Maitre Blum is such an interesting character in her own right that I wish some one would write a biography devoted to her alone. Caroline Blackw [...]

    2. A breathtakingly well researched biography of the last years of Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, Hugo Vickers has written the sad tale of this woman who has been blamed for the biggest monarchy crisis of modern times. But Mr Vickers' book is at pains to point out that she was not to blame and in fact much of what she got wasn't at all what she wanted.The Duchess was surrounded with a few unsavoury vultures who kept the people who cared about her away whilst they pillaged her personal belo [...]

    3. After David died the Duchess of Windsor, perhaps the most reviled woman in British history, slipped from public view. What few people realised was that her lawyer was systematically taking control of the Duchess' assets and even blocking visits from her friends.I read this bio straight after The Mitford Girls and it tied in perfectly.

    4. I have some major issues with this book. I think the writing itself is quite good - but I fail to grasp the concept of having "the ending" first, and then go on to the early lives of the Duchess and Duke of Windsor. If the two had been reversed, I think I would be left with a lot more positive feelings about the book - because Hugo Vickers writes well. But a lot of the minutiae that covers the first half of the book would (in my opinion) have been less tedious if we had read the last part of the [...]

    5. This was the sad story of the last few years of the Duchess of Windsor's life. The author goes over the events leading to the abdication, but then carries on to tell you what the Windsors lives were like as they lived out the remainder of their years in Paris. The Royal family, especially the Queen mother and the Queen, and Louis Mountbatten do not come out of the sorry tale very well. After the death of the Duke, the Dutchess seemed to disappear from public life, it seemed as she suffered more [...]

    6. Glad Hugo and I agree that it's unlikely Wallis was having an affair with a car salesman at the same time she was Edward VIII's mistress. I don't think the story is true about Edward VIII telling niece Elizabeth could come in but "remember your bloody curtsey" unless he was joking--when were they together after he was king? Where was this? Sandringham? I don't have much sympathy for WallisVickers earlier book looked at the couple's lavish lifestyle. Still, the premise of this book is to show how [...]

    7. This is an unusual biography in that it's kind of written back to front. Part 1 deals with the decline, isolation & shocking exploitation, fraud & downright criminality of her last years at the hands of Maitre Blum. Part 2 is shorter and deals with more standard fare, ie. birth, previous marriages, life before/during & after The Abdication.Overall I found part 2, 'The Life', although well written & researched, was almost tacked on to justify the tone of part 1, 'The Death'. With [...]

    8. Socialite life will not make anyone dream after reading this book if it ever did! Lives full of emptiness and thoroughly empty of feelings, travels without ever leaving the own limited sphere, ending up in bottomless loneliness when no more fit for the gossip. The book indeed opens the door to allow the reader an honest glimpse of the world hidden in the magic of glamour just to see it fall apart into a sad, sad reality. At times the minutia of the accounting is rather boring and annoying but af [...]

    9. This was interesting, not only for the telling of the Windsor's story, but for the insight into the lives of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria. Like others, I didn't necessarily agree with the idea of splitting & rearranging the chronology. I think this should not be the first book you read about the Windsors. I do agree with many of Vickers' conclusions about what happened, although we can all guess about it until Kingdom Come and never know the truth of the situat [...]

    10. Excellent biography The best I've one I've read of the Duchess of Windsor, Only thing I did'nt like was it was written back to front with the demise and death in the first part and the rise and the life in the second part, It was so well written I had a tear in my eye reading it. Hugo Vicker's is an excellent author. But I did not discover anything that I had'nt known before so that was abit dissapointing but I if you have'nt read about Wallis I highly recommend this book as the detail is amazin [...]

    11. The author did an extensive amount of research on this couple. However, I don't think he would say much negative about Mrs. Simpson because his livelihood still depends on the Royal Family. It was a shame how Mrs. Simpson spent her last years and how the Royal Family ignored her and didn't even help with safe guarding the Duke's possessions or papers. The impression I got of the Duke was not a flattering one nor did this book make me like Mrs. Simpson any better.

    12. Brilliantly written biography helped in part by Hugo Vickers close proximity to many of the characters in the book through his work as a royal biographer and apparent fascination with Wallis Simpson! It appears a well balanced book- none of the scandalous dross that appears in so many articles that have been written about her- in fact her 'true' story is far more sensational and sad than anything else written about her. Really enjoyable book, well researched- highly recommended.

    13. A very interesting read. It was sad to read that the couple's financial affairs were taken advantage of in their latter years and during ill health. The inventory of their possessions was too detailed at times. I really enjoyed reading the second half of the book about their lives and the events that led to the couple meeting and the abdication.

    14. I can't say this is a page turner. The author offers fervent detail one would expect in a personal diary, but the reader gets lost in the minutiae and so it's hard to step back and see the picture from all the dots. I got about 100 pages in and couldn't take it anymore. No stars offered.

    15. Very interesting story of the last years of the Duchess of Windsor, but writing style is gossipy snippets and not thoughtful analysis.

    16. I am so appreciative of Mr. Vickers for writing this book. The WIndsors have always held my interest and it was sad fate that befell the duchess, but the missing link that I always wanted to know.

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