The Grace Kelly Years: Princess of Monaco (英語) ハードカバー – 2007/9/25
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A tribute to Princess Grace on the 25th anniversary of her death, this beautifully illustrated book retraces all the various facets of the Princesss life, and gives the reader the definitive, official portrait of a fine actress, great beauty, and icon of American style.
"...the volume catalogues all of Kelly's items from the traveling exhibition, providing insightful commentary along the way." ~Florida International Magazine
"Using many never-before-seen photos, this catalogue provides a fascinating look at all facets of the Princess' remarkable life." ~Panache
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I would love to have seen the exhibit this book is based on, I am hoping it will travel to London.
The book itself is quite heavy and well made, so is well worth the price.
The "Hollywood" part of Grace Kelly's life takes up slightly less than half the book. The rest is devoted to her life as Princess Grace of Monaco. Her telling quote about Rainier give insight into their relationship: "When I married Prince Rainier, I married the man and not what he represented or what he was. I fell in love with him without giving thought to anything else." When Princess Grace's life is described as a "fairy tale come true", it has ALL the elements! This quite is given a full page, as is a double-portrait of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. Interestingly, (and unlike any other royal portrait of it's kind I have ever seen), the two of them, are seen in PROFILE, one behind the other -- but the Ruler, (Rainier), is BEHIND his consort, (Grace), showing perhaps, how much he loved her, as well!
Informal family portraits, with Grace, Rainier, and their children, formal and informal portraits of the Princess, her clothes, her jewels, and photos of various formal and informal occasions, (wherein are also seen other leading characters of this era -- such as Jacqueline Kennedy, Charles de Gaulke, and Pope John Paul I, amongst others, are also seen.
(One small correction, if I may: on page 227, Princess Grace is shown to be pictured with "Queen Irene of Greece". Her Royal Highness Princess Irene of Greece is a gracious and accomplished personage -- but was always a Princess, and not -- to my knowledge anyway -- ever a Queen of Greece.) There are only two other (minor) criticisms I have of this book: 1) It is, perhaps of necessity, VERY heavy, (weighing at least four pounds), and 2) The captions of the photos -- though wonderfully revealing, are written in very small print. Perhaps this was done so that the photos, not the captions, should be the focus of a reader's attention....but still, as many of Grace's growing legion of admirers are, sadly, coming up in years, (and I'm one of them), the captions, I feel, should have been in even slightly bigger print....
These small criticisms, however, do not dampen my enthusiasm at all for this otherwise perfect book -- nor would they stop me from recommending it to any other admirer of Her Serene Highness! SO much wonder is inside this book! For instance.......
A detailed picture of the gold-and-pink suit which Grace Kelly wore for the civil marriage ceremony, (which preceeded the religious ceremony, and during which, she officially became a Princess), is shown -- along with a formal portrait of Grace wearing the elegant outfit. Covers of magazines, (from "Paris Match" to "Good Housekeeping"), featuring Princess Grace, (sometimes shown with a very happy Prince Rainier), are shown on one page.
Towards the back of the book, are descriptions of the various rooms in the Princess Grace Exhibit, (of, as I have said, this volume is the official guidebook). Described are, the "Philadelphia Room", "New York Room", "Hollywood Room", "Hitchcock Room", "First Meeting Room", "Weddingf Room", "Ballroom", "Room of Friends", "Princess Room",
"Nursery and Family Room", "Private Garden Room", "Secret Woman Room",
"Glamour Room", "Patron of the Arts Room". and "Royal Room". On the page facing these last two rooms is a intriguing portrait of Princess Grace, in profile, looking out at the New York City skyline at night. It was taken by another multi-faceted, multi-talented, and intelligent woman: Gina Lollobrigita.
Further towards the back of the book, is an excerpt from the book, "La Veritable Grace de Monaco", by Editions Pygmalion. giving excerpts from various chapters, and an overview of Princess Grace's life. A two page spread follows -- a thoughtful portrait of a mature Princess Grace -- on whom the passing years have left barely a mark -- staring out of a latticed window, with a grand piano on her other side. Princess Grace truly wished to return to acting, (and did, in fact, appear in several documentaries, as herself) -- but the pull of the fact that she was now a Princess, not only of Monaco, but of the Catholic Church itself, plus the desires of the people of Monaco that their princess be a princess only, and not an actress -- kept her from doing so. Yes, she did have a fairy-tale life...but in her life, as in those of most people, sacrifices had to be made to make it as it should be.
A filmography of Grace Kelly follows, and after that, notes on the personal letters shown in the book. Lastly, there is a bibliography, and an index.
It is a tribute indeed, to all those who produced this sumptuous book, that it is SO inclusive of every aspect of the life of Her Serene Highness, Princess Grace of Monaco. From a family photo of her at two, with her brother Jack and sister Margaret, through a photo of her on the cover of a booklet, "25 Typing Shortcuts", and some very "Marilyn Monroesque" photos of Grace in 1955, (taken, in fact, by Milton H. Greene, who took similiar photos of Ms. Monroe), through extreme close-up pictures of the various dresses Princess Grace wore through the years, through family pictures, and formal portraits, great events and small....all are here, described and pictured in the greatest of details.
This is the penultimate Princess Grace book -- as well it should be. It is a treat for those fortunate enough to read it. And it is a tribute to those who created it -- most especially, the woman who lived it, Her Serene Highness, Princess Grace of Monaco.
This book is officially accepted by her family, and it is quite understandable that the image of Grace Kelly had to be a positive one, just like she had wished, as one of her quotes in this book states. But another of her quotes also shows, that she did not seem consistently happy with her fairy tale image, to which she herself had some cause. Is this maybe a glimpse of one extreme in her personality? I think it would have been possible to show more of a "real" person, and maybe the exhibition this book is reflecting did so. If so, this book was not made with care.
I have read some unauthorized biographies on her and even if they sometimes seem a little too much, too dirty, too revealing, they still appear to describe the life of a human, the ups and downs, the possible reasons for the choices made in life. This book is the absolute contrary, and even seems to be desperately trying to disprove all other books written on her. One example: one nice, short thank you letter from Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis makes the impression of a harmonious friendship. Other biographies claim their relationship to being quite disturbed, Jacqueline not at all being fond of Princess Grace. Well, maybe the exhibition had more to tell on this issue, so I would have rather seen more letters Grace Kelly wrote than thank you notes from her co actors and other celebrities written with typing machines.
Maybe it would have been better just to display as many pictures as possible from the exhibition, with very little text and without any tendentious comments. This would have let the book be more open and would have let the spectator make up his own mind. But it seems that was not the intention.