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maryshawn 07-26-2004 12:14 AM

Questions on Authors' Credibility: Books about Diana, Princess of Wales
 
I have read more books and seen more tapes than I ever thought I would on Diana. She was not entirely credible during her lifetime but Morton's new book says Burrell was on his way out and looking at a posiition with Trump. Burrell's book says they were as close as ever tho he didn't care for Dodi. Hewitt---ugh! It's like a cheap romance novel in a different cover. Then there are her healers.....Dodi's butler.....Diana's former employer.......Who gives probably the most accurate account of her life? Some great biographers have tried to tackle the subject but even they get conflicting reports......Just curious if anyone finds any of these particularly believable.

Thanks

rhenae 03-06-2006 05:15 AM

There are so many books out there about Diana and you really don't know what to believe. I always try to keep an open mind when reading a biography on Diana.
I read the Morton book not too long ago and I don't really know what to think about Paul. He did say that he would never write a book or something on that order and he did. Hewitt is a pig and I would not believe anything that came out of his mouth. I think that Simmone is one of the biggest liars there is.

sassie 03-06-2006 01:42 PM

I thought Ken Wharfe's book was very fair. He didn't iconize Diana, he merely presented her as the human being she was, good and bad. It didn't have the heavy slant that some of the others did.

Patrick Jephson's first book seemed a little spiteful.

Paul Burrell's was a little too "gushy" for me. I think he tried to be just, but was so heavily biased towards the Princess that he didn't present a clear picture of her darker side.

Morton's book was heavily reliant on input from Diana during a very "down" period of her life. I think it has to be read with a grain of salt.

I wouldn't read Hewitt's or Simmons' book on a bet. Believe Simone Simmons is an outright liar. JMHO.

If I had to pick the fairest-i.e. giving the most just portrayal of Diana the person, I would pick Ken Wharfe's.

Lovelydiana 07-04-2006 05:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sassie
Paul Burrell's was a little too "gushy" for me. I think he tried to be just, but was so heavily biased towards the Princess that he didn't present a clear picture of her darker side.

Morton's book was heavily reliant on input from Diana during a very "down" period of her life. I think it has to be read with a grain of salt.

I wouldn't read Hewitt's or Simmons' book on a bet. Believe Simone Simmons is an outright liar. JMHO.

I do agree with what you said I think the only people that would give the most acrate portrayal of her would be her children. I don't think Charles or Camilla would apint a very accurate picture of her since they didn't really like her. William and Harry would be the most accurate sources if they chose to write a book about Mummy.

tenngirl 07-05-2006 02:14 AM

I think that Ken Wharfe's book is good. He was not in love with her or enamored of her so he just writes what happens.

I think!

Of course, none of us really know the true story. What really bugs me is that I just read the new book "Windsor Women" and the author writes that Diana was weeping bitterly at certain times, blah blah blah. I started thinking about how that anyone could write a book on her, saying that she was laughing hysterically or crying desperately, and then people come along and quote it like its Gospel. When maybe the original author made it up! That really bothered me.

Probably when this generation is gone, about 30 years or so down the road, we will probably find out more of the truth.

Hopefully, I will still be able to see so I can read it!!!:rolleyes:

Yennie 07-05-2006 02:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sassie
I wouldn't read Hewitt's or Simmons' book on a bet. Believe Simone Simmons is an outright liar. JMHO.

why is that? Hewitt I understand, but what about Simmons? I had never heard of her before I read the book but it does have some interesting details imo... even if I dont like some of the tings like the healing and cleaning out spirits and such parts :) I think its a ok book

Jo of Palatine 07-05-2006 05:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sassie
Morton's book was heavily reliant on input from Diana during a very "down" period of her life. I think it has to be read with a grain of salt.

If I had to pick the fairest-i.e. giving the most just portrayal of Diana the person, I would pick Ken Wharfe's.

I agree with you about the Wharfe-book as the author clearly was in a position to see the things he reports first hand and as a policeman knows that it's either saying the truth or be quiet on certain points.

About the Morton-book: for me it gives a good and pretty reliable insight into the way the princess herself thought and felt when her marriage got into crisis. It is biased and probably most of it can be seen from a different point of view as well but as far as it goes it tells alot about Diana. I wonder how much Morton changed from the first version which was published with the princess's consent to the final version? I read it when it was new in 1992 and somehow I seem to remember a lot of things differently when I read the final version much later. But as I don't have the original anymore and the final version only in German, I'm not sure about that.

As for Paul Burrell, I don't buy his version of the story.

sassie 07-05-2006 08:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yennie
why is that? Hewitt I understand, but what about Simmons? I had never heard of her before I read the book but it does have some interesting details imo... even if I dont like some of the tings like the healing and cleaning out spirits and such parts :) I think its a ok book

Because Simmons wrote one book about Diana...and then came back, several years later, and wrote yet another book about Diana, filled with things that she had conveniently 'forgotten' to include in the first book. (Personally, I think her bank account needed money.)

Such as her allegation that Diana had used cocaine once-which, I'm sorry, I just don't buy. Diana was very health conscious, and she had also been spoon fed any number of statistics about the health effects of drugs in her years supporting charities as POW-I just don't buy that she would even sample cocaine as a lark, as Simmons suggests.

There is also Simmon's allegation that Diana had a one night stand with JFK, Jr.-something she may have 'forgotten' to include in her first book about Diana, because, at that time, JFK, Jr., was still alive and could refute her allegation. Patrick Jephson and several others even closer to Diana have said repeatedly that there was no one night stand-that Diana met with John briefly, they had a nice conversation and a cup of coffee, and that was all. It's a sleazy allegation about two people who are dead and cannot speak for themselves.

But, most importantly, what is the point of revealing these two things-even if they were remotely true? IMO, it's simply done for $$. Just two nasty pieces of gossip which don't do anything but tarnish the memory of a woman who has already been battered enough by "friends" selling her reputation down the river.

sassie 07-05-2006 08:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jo of Palatine

About the Morton-book: for me it gives a good and pretty reliable insight into the way the princess herself thought and felt when her marriage got into crisis. It is biased and probably most of it can be seen from a different point of view as well but as far as it goes it tells alot about Diana. I wonder how much Morton changed from the first version which was published with the princess's consent to the final version? I read it when it was new in 1992 and somehow I seem to remember a lot of things differently when I read the final version much later. But as I don't have the original anymore and the final version only in German, I'm not sure about that.

No, the original version is pretty much the same way-although the "In Her Own Words" version published in 1997, includes not only Diana's quotes, but also the chapters from the sequel that Morton had published earlier.

I agree-it does give a lot of insight into Diana's state of mind at that time-I just don't think it should be used as a definitive biography, because, of course, after the separation and divorce, her state of mind would have been different. And she was very bitter at the time she cooperated with Morton, so some of her views on the Royal Family and her husband, I thought, may have been more harsh than fair.

Jo of Palatine 07-05-2006 10:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sassie
I agree-it does give a lot of insight into Diana's state of mind at that time-I just don't think it should be used as a definitive biography, because, of course, after the separation and divorce, her state of mind would have been different. And she was very bitter at the time she cooperated with Morton, so some of her views on the Royal Family and her husband, I thought, may have been more harsh than fair.

Thank you very much for the info.

You're right, she surely was very bitter at that time and really felt alone so it influenced her report. But for me it's important to realize that as a lot of the claim that Charles and Camilla had an ongoing affair is based on the accusations of the Morton-book which came from a Diana who obviously really believed it then. But, as other said here very wisely, we'll never know the full truth but somehow the way prince Charles behaves towards people who are in an unfortunate situation and the way Camilla appears to be according to her public appearances one gets the feeling that there is a picture which simply doesn't fit if you accept Diana's version of 1992 (the version of the Morton-book). While if you read it with a grain of salt another picture emerges.

Duchess 07-05-2006 06:58 PM

from the different things that i've read, it seems that different people knew diana in different ways so it would be hard to put together a total picture of her. having said that i think that most biographies are like that.

as for the simmons allegation about diana having used cocaine, it seems pretty far fetched since she wouldn't even take prescription medication for depression. i believe i read she wouldn't take it because she was afraid of becoming dependant on it. someone correct me it i'm wrong.

maryshawn 07-05-2006 07:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Duchess
from the different things that i've read, it seems that different people knew diana in different ways so it would be hard to put together a total picture of her. having said that i think that most biographies are like that.

as for the simmons allegation about diana having used cocaine, it seems pretty far fetched since she wouldn't even take prescription medication for depression. i believe i read she wouldn't take it because she was afraid of becoming dependant on it. someone correct me it i'm wrong.

She was nervous about becoming dependent on alcohol.....so I guess I, too, am skeptical of this claim. A person who'd been around drug addicts as often as Diana had would know cocaine is a highly addictive drug so I think she would eschew it totally. She even used herbal remedies and exercise for back pain. About the only thing she felt she was somewhat "addicted" to were the sleeping pills she took for long periods of time. But even those were cleared up with the help of an accupuncturist and, by the last year of her life, Diana didn't take sleeping medications at all.

Ygraine 02-08-2007 04:13 PM

I read Wharfes book and to me he came across as a man besotted I got the distinct impression Wharfe felt if he saw off Hewitt Diana would would turn to him

I saw him interviewed on televion a while ago and both he and Penny Thornton were spitting bile about their former employer

TheTruth 02-25-2007 08:14 AM

Diana, the portrait by Rosalind Coward is quite objective. It only reports what her friends and family tells about the Diana they knew and her work for the needy. The benefits of the book is given to Princess Diana Memorial Fund and it was published with official authorisations. I hate to read books that pretend to be full of revelations and all. It's only a way to make money from a dead person : not very fair ...

sassie 02-25-2007 09:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ygraine
I read Wharfes book and to me he came across as a man besotted I got the distinct impression Wharfe felt if he saw off Hewitt Diana would would turn to him

I saw him interviewed on televion a while ago and both he and Penny Thornton were spitting bile about their former employer

Penny Thornton and Ken Wharfe were never employed by the Princess.

I can't agree with your assessment of Wharfe's book, and I wonder if you aren't thinking of Patrick Jephson. Wharfe never gave any indication that he was romantically interested in Diana.

ysbel 02-25-2007 10:02 AM

I didn't read Wharfe's book but the excerpts that I read gave me the impression he was still very much of a police officer mentality more so than as a royal servant.

One of his criticisms of Dodi's bodyguard the night of the car crash was that Dodi's bodyguard didn't override his employer's wishes which Wharfe as as a royal bodyguard and office of the police would have been empowered to do.

From the excerpts of Wharfe's book that I read, I got the idea that Diana had an appealing personality but she was a bit fanciful and romantic especially when it came to getting close to the people and I imagine this made his job more difficult when trying to guard her in heavily crowded situations.

I don't know whether Diana would have employed her own bodyguard while a Royal Princess. She definitely didn't hire one after the divorce. I imagine though that the Royal Household would employ all the bodyguards for the Royal Family and manage them as one unit rather than letting individual Royals hire their own protection.

For day to day working purposes I imagine Ken and Diana had more of an employee-employer relationship except of course, that as a Royal Protection Officer, he was empowered to override Diana's orders if he felt it was in her best interest for him to do so.

Irishrose 03-03-2007 11:56 PM

I have read 'diana: her true story', "Story of a Princess' (basically rehashed facts) and Ken Wharfe's book. I believe Wharfe's book is most credible. HE reports what he sees right in front of him. It was very balanced. Also, I read, "Princess Diana: in search of herself." That book, imo, was implicated that she suffered from BPD. But after reading Wharfe's book. I do not believe she did suffer from BPD.

ysbel 03-04-2007 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Irishrose
I have read 'diana: her true story', "Story of a Princess' (basically rehashed facts) and Ken Wharfe's book. I believe Wharfe's book is most credible. HE reports what he sees right in front of him. It was very balanced. Also, I read, "Princess Diana: in search of herself." That book, imo, was implicated that she suffered from BPD. But after reading Wharfe's book. I do not believe she did suffer from BPD.

I thought that Diana, Her True Story suggested that Diana suffered from borderline personality disorder not BPD (bipolar disorder). They are two totally different things.

Elspeth 03-04-2007 09:57 PM

I'm pretty sure that Diana: Her True Story, which was basically her own take on things, didn't say anything about borderline personality disorder; it was just going on about how Charles had driven her to bulimia and despair. Diana In Search Of Herself did have a chapter at the end which suggested that her symptoms were consistent with borderline personality disorder; I think the Dimbleby book was going to mention it but he couldn't get enough verification to back it up. Not sure about Penny Junor's book about Charles - it might have said something along those lines, but it's a while since I read it.

Suonymona 03-05-2007 06:07 AM

A major issue with borderline personality disorder is that its symptoms are also those of several other disorders. Diana admittedly suffered from bulimia and depression--disorders which cross-over with BPD.

Without a psych evaluation or a work-up based on her files (which will come when HM starts skydiving), there is no definite way to conclude Diana had BPD.

Any writer who said/says so had to choose their words carefully to avoid libel.


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