Book review : King Edward VIII: An American Life

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King Edward VIII: An American Life
by Ted Powell
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Language: English

Before he fell in love with Wallis Simpson, Edward VIII had fallen in love with America. As a young Prince of Wales, Edward witnessed the birth of the American century at the end of the First World War and, captivated by the energy, confidence, and raw power of the USA as it strode onto the world stage, he paid a number of subsequent visits: surfing in Hawaii; dancing with an American shop-girl in Panama; and partying with the cream of New York society on Long Island. Eventually, of course, he fell violently in love with Wallis, a Southern belle and latter-day Scarlett O’Hara. Forceful, irreverent, and sassy, she embodied everything that Edward admired about modern America.

But Edward’s fascination with America was not unreciprocated. America was equally fascinated by the Prince, especially his love life, and he became an international media celebrity through newsreels, radio, and the press. Indeed, even in the decades after his abdication in 1936, Edward remained a celebrity in the US and a regular guest of Presidents and the elite of American society.

Edward first visited the US in 1919 as Prince of Wales, feted by President Woodrow Wilson at the White House, but it was his visit in 1924 that captured US hearts . His passion for America was reciprocated. Fans cheered Edward at every turn, crowding him at racetracks, airshows and on city streets. Edward as a young man he had charisma and was very good looking.

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Edward was forced to abdicate in December 1936 saying he could not be King “without the help and support of the woman I love”. Edward and Wallis married in 1937 in France, but no members of the Royal Family attended the wedding. They became the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Wallis was never given the title of Her Royal Highness.

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The Book reads very easily . The auteur reveals the prince’s first love: America, so it was nowonder that Edward fell in love with Wallis Simpson , a divorced woman twice.
The book also provides enough information about Edward so that you get to know the person better. Especially if you do not know much about him yet. You will learn everything about royal surfing trips, cowboy ranches and all-night jazz.
If you are interested in the Royal Family and the British History but also the American culture then the book is certainly a recommendation.

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