Dancing With the Devil: The Windsors and Jimmy Donahue (英語) ハードカバー – 2000/12
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The story of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor is one of the most romantic of all time-Edward VIII abdicated his throne and gave up an empire so that he could marry the woman he loved, American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Very few people suspected, and even fewer actually knew, that the Duchess cuckolded and almost gave him up for a gay playboy twenty years her junior.
Blond and slender, Jimmy Donahue was the archetypal post-war playboy. He could fly a plane, speak several languages, play the piano, and tell marvelous jokes. People loved him for his wit, charm and personality. The grandson of millionaire Frank W. Woolworth, Jimmy knew he would never need to work. Instead, he set about carving for himself a career of mischief. Some said evil.
Gay at a time when the homosexual act was still illegal, Jimmy was notorious within America's upper class, and loved to shock. Though press agents arranged for him to be seen with female escorts, his pursuits, until he met the Duchess of Windsor, were exclusively homosexual. He was thirty-five when he was befriended by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in 1950. The Duchess was fifty-four, and despite the difference in age, there was an instant attraction. A burgeoning sexual relationship - a perverse sort of love - was formed between Jimmy and the Duchess. Together with the Duke, they became an inseparable trio, the closest of friends. As Jimmy had planned, the royal couple became obsessed with him.
With information from surviving contemporaries, Dancing with the Devil is the extraordinary tale of three remarkable people and their unique and twisted relationship.
Christopher Wilson is an English journalist, broadcaster and author. His authoritative account of the secret relationship between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles was made into a major TV movie. He has also been a columnist for several major newspapers in Great Britain.
But it was the affair between Wallis, the duchess, and the openly gay Jimmy that shocked many people in their circle. These two might have been made for each other -- both social climbers and users with little or no human kindness -- but it still caught many by surprise. When the affair ended, the viciousness on both sides was predictable.
I can't say I enjoyed this book because the people involved were so awful, but it's not badly written. It's just that the subject matter is unpleasant. When I finished reading it, I felt like taking a bath.
My only complaint is that sometimes there was an abundance of detail that added little to the story and, in fact, slowed it down.
It was a story of poor little rich people who gained no wisdom or satisfaction from the values they held. It is a book that can make you ever so glad to be one of the "little people".