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Diana

de Sarah Bradford

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1804128,123 (3.4)7
Draws on interviews with individuals closest to the late princess to discuss her life behind the scandals, tracing her courtship with Prince Charles, transformation into a high-profile public figure, and the role of Camilla Parker Bowles in the collapse of her marriage.
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Thirteen years after her untimely death, Diana, Princess of Wales still polarises opinions. Was she a beautiful, innocent humanitarian driven to her death by hostile forces beyond her control? Or was she a manipulative deceiver, using the media to her advantage and thus, unwittingly, unleashing a monster that would eventually destroy her? Almost everyone has their own view on this vexed question but, as Sarah Bradford attempts to demonstrate in this admirably balanced biography, the truth probably lies somewhere between the two extremes.

Bradford has gone to great lengths, I suspect, to get a fair overview of her subject. She's consulted Diana's friends and supporters, and she's also sought the views of those who were less impressed by her. She examines every period of Diana's life, from her troubled childhood to her all-too-brief days as a carefree girl-about-town, her horribly ill-judged marriage, her divorce, and her last months as a single lady. On the way we learn about a complicated woman who could certainly be manipulative, untruthful, inconsiderate and temperamental - but also a woman possessed of a genuine compassion and humanity, someone who people almost could not help but love.

And yet ... somehow, after reading this, I feel like I understand Diana less than ever. It's a feature of many personalities, of course, that the more closely they are scrutinised the less clear they become, but I suppose I was hoping to somehow arrive at a sharper picture of the Princess. It's true that Bradford displays an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the actual events in Diana's life, but the personality underlying those events always remains somewhat mysterious. Perhaps, indeed, that's why Diana is an icon: she keeps us guessing.

My own opinion, after reading this? A sometimes difficult woman who was ultimately more sinned against than sinning. A guess, of course - I don't know for sure. We probably never will. However, if you want to try to uncover the truth for yourself, this book would be a good place to start. ( )
  MariBiella | Dec 6, 2015 |
I used to think that the Diana's life was pretty simple: she got married to a prince, divorced 11 years later, then got killed in a car crash in Paris.

This book showed me that everyone's lives, including Diana's, is a lot more complicated and that there are always more than meets the eye.

When I finished this book, it shattered every hope I might have had - the hope that life could been a fairy tale if I should ever marry a prince.
This book showed me that we should be careful what we hope for.

I feel pretty sorry for all the characters involved in the story of Diana. Hers was a typical Greek tragedy.
I liked the quote in the book, "Whom the gods love, die young."

That quote couldn't have said it better. ( )
  VickiFourie | Sep 12, 2008 |
This was an OK, book, that had some problems, and that could have been so much more.

The tone of the writing sucked you right in, and the mostly evenhanded treatment received by all was very good.

Unfortunately there wasn't much new, and some seemed to be inaccurate (compared to other books). The book starts with Diana's early life, which has been done to death, even though it is the basis for understanding her personality.

What the book didn't do, and it seems odd in a book that has been timed to coincide with the 10 year anniversary of her death, is to look at those 10 years. It doesn't deal much at all with the death and the funeral, or the aftermath. While serious evaluation will have to wait for more time to pass, a 10 year evaluation would seem to be the purpose of the book. Instead it just ends with her burial on the island.

There are also horribly worded passages that in some places are incomprehensible. Finally there is what I consider to be trickery employed with the sourcing of the information. Bradford will say a 'Family Member' says X. But while she is explaining about X she has long passages of narrative, and many names. Then she seems to come to the end of X and then she adds another comment, but you are not sure if its from the Family Member, or one of the people in the explanation of X that said it. So it is often very hard to tell who is saying what and who is the source. Some of that feels deliberate, as though Bradford has something she wants to get in, but can't admit who said it, or she doesn't know who said it. In either case not good practice for a reputable biography writer.

That leads to the many anonymous sources that provide the information for the book. While it is understandable that people don't want to be identified, there should then be some caution about what they are saying, and why. That caution is almost entirely absent from the narrative. It attempts to give the impression that the writer is part of the same set, and so knows whether or not to trust these people and their tales. All it does for me, is raise questions about the author, and the validity of some of her information. ( )
  FicusFan | Jun 26, 2007 |
Een zeer gebalanceerd boek over prinses Diana. Het probeert een zo eerlijk mogelijk beeld te scheppen, en daar worden haar mindere kanten niet bij vergeten. ( )
  royalhistorian | Apr 5, 2007 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Sarah Bradfordautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Kellgren, KatherineNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Draws on interviews with individuals closest to the late princess to discuss her life behind the scandals, tracing her courtship with Prince Charles, transformation into a high-profile public figure, and the role of Camilla Parker Bowles in the collapse of her marriage.

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