Special Feature: The Duchess by Wendy Holden

I read my first Wendy Holden book last year and I loved how well she wrote historical fiction! The Royal Governess was a well researched and interesting novel about the governess of Queen Elizabeth, and I came away from it feeling like I learned some new things while enjoying a great story. When I saw she was coming out with this new book about Wallis Simpson I knew it would be a quality book!

For me personally, I am not a fan of the love story of Wallis Simpson and the man who would be king. I always felt like Wallis Simpson was an opportunist and I questioned if she ever really loved Edward or if it was just about her selfishness. Though I will say as much as I do not care for her, there is a quality of their romance that is intrinsically romantic and I cannot help but be swept up in it. I mean the man gave up his entire future, family, and duty for a woman he loved. That is impressive regardless of how you feel about their romance.

That is why I am always drawn to books about Wallis Simpson and this one in particular. Holden is a great story teller with lots of historical details woven into her novels and I am sure that her latest novel The Duchess will give readers more insight into the relationship between Wallis and Edward. I hope you guys keep an eye out for this one this fall, it is sure to satisfy historical fiction fans!

Summary

It was a love so strong, a king renounced his kingdom–all for that woman. Or was she just an escape route for a monarch who never wanted to rule? Bestselling author Wendy Holden takes an intimate look at one of the most notorious scandals of the 20th century. 

1928. A middle-aged foreigner comes to London with average looks, no money and no connections.Wallis’s first months in the city are lonely, dull and depressing. With no friends of her own she follows the glamorous set in magazines and goes to watch society weddings. Her stuffy husband Ernest’s idea of fun, meanwhile, is touring historic monuments.

When an unexpected encounter leads to a house party with the Prince of Wales, Wallis’s star begins to rise. Her secret weapon is her American pep and honesty. For the prince she is a breath of fresh air. As her friendship with him grows, their relationship deepens into love. Wallis is plunged into a world of unimaginable luxury and privilege, enjoying weekends together at his private palace on the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Wallis knows the fun and excitement can’t last. The prince will have to marry and she will return to Ernest. The sudden death of George V seems to make this inevitable; the Prince of Wales is now King Edward VIII. When, to her shock and amazement, he refuses to give her up–or recognize that they are facing impossible odds–her fairy tale becomes a nightmare. The royal family close ranks to shut her out and Ernest gives an ultimatum.

Wallis finds herself trapped when Edward insists on abdicating his throne. She can’t escape the overwhelming public outrage and villainized, she becomes the woman everyone blames–the face of the most dramatic royal scandal of the twentieth century. (summary from Goodreads)

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