Wallis and Edward: Letters 1931-1937 (The Intimate Correspondence of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor) by Michael Blogh


Hardcover. Condition: Fine, Dust Jacket: Very Good. 1986. Summit Books. 1st Edition.

It was the most scandalous love affair of the century -- that of Edward VIII and American divorcee Wallis Simpson, the woman for whom he gave up his throne. By now the story of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor is of course legend. But here it is told as never before -- through a remarkable collection of intimate letters that have been totally unknown to the public until now. At the heart of this volume are the extraordinary letters exchanged by the lovers themselves, from their improbable first meeting in 1931 -- Wallis socially obscure, Edward then Prince of Wales -- till the moment they married at the Chateau de Candé in 1937. Perhaps the most romantic documents of our time, they chart the course of Edward's overwhelming passion for Wallis, dramatically illuminating the mystery of their attraction. "God bless WE forever my Wallis," he writes to her. The letters are also of considerable historical importance, as they completely alter our opinion of the Duchess's role; it is now disclosed that she desperately tried to prevent the abdication through a secret plan. The letters reveal, too, what really transpired between the ex-King and his family. In addition to the correspondence between the lovers are Wallis's letters to her favorite aunt, Bessie Merryman, when Wallis was still married to Ernest Simpson, a conventional London businessman, and striving for a place in society. Not only do these letters provide a fascinating account of Wallis's developing relationship with the man born to be King, but they create a striking view of life in London in the years between the wars. Indeed, one discovers an extraordinary counterpoint between the middle-class world Wallis inhabits at Bryanston Court, where she is burdened with money problems and servant troubles, and the "dream" world of the Prince of Wales which gradually takes over. In the course of the letters to Aunt Bessie, we see Wallis transformed from an ordinary matron to the most talked about woman on earth, surrounded by the likes of Lady Cunard, Lady Diana Cooper, Lord Mountbatten, Lord Beaverbrook and Winston Churchill, vacationing in Cannes, Biarritz and aboard luxury yachts. Enormously moving and revealing, Wallis and Edward is finally the portrait of a more elegant age and of the two individuals who typified it. Michael Bloch, who spent six years of research in the Windsor archives in Paris, has masterfully assembled and annotated the letters