That Woman: The Life Of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor is essentially a biography of Wallis Simpson written by historian Anne Sebba. I’d generally prefer to read an auto-biography, however the level of research undertaken by the author suggested that this book might give an insight into Wallis, her life and her motivations.
I first read of Wallis Simpson in a book by Diana Vreeland. My initial interest in her was purely as a style icon however it took very little further investigation to pique my curiosity as there was obviously a lot more to this woman than fabulous clothing and jewels. I wanted to try to understand whether she was truly an immoral woman who set out to nab a king or whether she was simply doing the best she could with what she had at a time when a woman’s wellbeing was predominately dependent on the support of a man. I feel that this book helps to clarify many of the facts, bringing together research about Wallis’ upbringing and her first two marriages. The author does speculate quite a lot as to why something may or may not have happened which was both helpful and annoying.
I’ve read reviews that describe this book as a ‘sympathetic biography’ however at times I felt that it was actually quite judgemental. Perhaps I’m biased though. Whilst I wouldn’t claim that Wallis was without fault, I did feel a certain affection for her. Edward on the other hand came across as spoilt and selfish and not entirely in possession of his mind! I’m glad that I read this book and I would recommend it to anybody interested in Wallis Simpson, however I feel that some other accounts should be considered as well.
That Woman: The Life Of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor by Anne Sebba was released in 2011