The daughter of the American ambassador to the Court of St James’s, Kick swept into Britain’s aristocracy like a fresh wind on a sweltering summer day. In a decaying world where everything was based on stultifying sameness and similarity, she was gloriously, exhilaratingly different. Kick was the girl whom all the boys fell in love with, the girl who remained painfully out of reach for most of them.
To Kick, everything about this life was fun and amusing—until suddenly it was not. For this is also a story of how a girl like Kick, a girl who had everything, a girl who seemed made for happiness, confronted crushing sadness. Willing to pay the price for choosing the love she wanted, she would have to face the consequences of forsaking much that was dear to her.
Bestselling and award-winning biographer Barbara Leaming draws on her unique access to firsthand accounts, extensive conversations with many of the key players, and previously-unseen sources to transport us to another world, one of immense wealth, arcane rituals and rules, glamour and tragedy, that has now disappeared forever. It was a world of dukes and duchesses, of grand houses, of country house weekends, and of wild rich boys. But it was also a world of blood and war, and of immeasurable loss.
It was a time of complete upheaval, as reflected in the life of this most unlikely and unforgettable central character. Kick Kennedy reveals her story, that of a young girl learning about love, sex, and death—and doing it all at warp speed as the world races toward war and then reels in the war’s chaotic aftermath. This is the coming-of-age story of the female star of the Kennedy family, and ultimately a tragic, romantic story that will break your heart.
“Do you know what the secret to happily-ever-after is?” Janet Bouvier Auchincloss would ask her daughters Jackie and Lee during their tea time. “Money and Power,” she would say. It was a lesson neither would ever forget. They followed in their mother’s footsteps after her marriages to the philandering socialite “Black Jack” Bouvier and the fabulously rich Standard Oil heir Hugh D. Auchincloss.
Jacqueline Bouvier would marry John F. Kennedy and the story of their marriage is legendary, as is the story of her second marriage to Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. Less well known is the story of her love affair with a world renowned architect and a British peer. Her sister, Lee, had liaisons with one and possibly both of Jackie's husbands, in addition to her own three marriages—to an illegitimate royal, a Polish prince and a Hollywood director.
If the Bouvier women personified beauty, style and fashion, it was their lust for money and status that drove them to seek out powerful men, no matter what the cost to themselves or to those they stepped on in their ruthless climb to the top. Based on hundreds of new interviews with friends and family of the Bouviers, among them their own half-brother, as well as letters and journals, J. Randy Taraborrelli's book paints an extraordinary psychological portrait of two famous sisters and their ferociously ambitious mother.
Both were the daughters of acrimonious divorce. Both wed men twelve years their senior, men who needed "trophy brides" to advance their careers. Both married into powerful and domineering families, who tried, unsuccessfully, to tame their willful independence. Both inherited power through marriage and both rebelled within their official roles, forever crushing the archetype. And both revolutionized dynasties.
And yet in many ways they were completely different: Jackie lived her life with an English "stiff upper lip"--never complaining, never explaining in the face of immense public curiosity. Diana lived her life with an American "quivering lower lip"--with televised tell-alls, exposing her family drama to a world eager for every detail.
These two lives have been well documented but never before compared. And never before examined in the context of their times. Jay Mulvaney, author of Kennedy Weddings and Jackie: The Clothes of Camelot, probes the lives of these two twentieth century icons and discovers:
-The nature of their personalities forged from the cradle by their relationships with their fathers, Black Jack Bouvier and Johnny Spencer
-Their early years, and their early relationships with men.
-Their marriages, and the truth behind the lies, the betrayals and the arrangements.
-Their greatest achievements: motherhood.
-Their prickly relationships with their august mothers-in-law, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy and Queen Elizabeth II
-Their lives as single women, working mothers.Their roles as icons and archetypes.
Graced with never before seen photographs from many private collections, and painstakingly researched, Diana and Jackie presents these two remarkable and unique women as they have never been seen before.
When sixty-four-year-old Jackie Kennedy Onassis died in her Fifth Avenue apartment, her younger sister Lee wept inconsolably. Then Jackie’s thirty-eight-page will was read. Lee discovered that substantial cash bequests were left to family members, friends, and employees—but nothing to her. "I have made no provision in this my Will for my sister, Lee B. Radziwill, for whom I have great affection, because I have already done so during my lifetime," read Jackie’s final testament. Drawing on the authors’ candid interviews with Lee Radziwill, The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters explores their complicated relationship, placing them at the center of twentieth-century fashion, design, and style.
In life, Jackie and Lee were alike in so many ways. Both women had a keen eye for beauty—in fashion, design, painting, music, dance, sculpture, poetry—and both were talented artists. Both loved pre-revolutionary Russian culture, and the blinding sunlight, calm seas, and ancient olive groves of Greece. Both loved the siren call of the Atlantic, sharing sweet, early memories of swimming with the rakish father they adored, Jack Vernou Bouvier, at his East Hampton retreat. But Jackie was her father’s favorite, and Lee, her mother’s. One would grow to become the most iconic woman of her time, while the other lived in her shadow. As they grew up, the two sisters developed an extremely close relationship threaded with rivalry, jealousy, and competition. Yet it was probably the most important relationship of their lives.
For the first time, Vanity Fair contributing editor Sam Kashner and acclaimed biographer Nancy Schoenberger tell the complete story of these larger-than-life sisters. Drawing on new information and extensive interviews with Lee, now eighty-four, this dual biography sheds light on the public and private lives of two extraordinary women who lived through immense tragedy in enormous glamour.
Here is the woman as she has never been seen before. In heartrending detail, we witness a struggle that unfolded at times before our own eyes, but which we failed to understand.
Leaming's biography also makes clear the pattern of Jackie's life as a whole. We see how a spirited young woman's rejection of a predictable life led her to John F. Kennedy and the White House, how she sought to reconcile the conflicts of her marriage and the role she was to play, and how the trauma of her husband's murder which left her soaked in his blood and brains led her to seek a very different kind of life from the one she'd previously sought.
A life story that has been scrutinized countless times, seen here for the first time as the serious and important story that it is. A story for our times at a moment when we as a nation need more than ever to understand the impact of trauma.
The forecast proved uncannily accurate. Edward VIII came to the throne in January 1936, provoked a constitutional crisis by his determination to marry the American divorcée Wallis Simpson, and abdicated in December. He was never crowned king.
In choosing the woman he loved over his royal birthright, Edward shook the monarchy to its foundations. Given the new title 'Duke of Windsor' and essentially sent into exile, he remained a visible skeleton in the royal cupboard until his death in 1972 and he haunts the house of Windsor to this day.
Drawing on unpublished material, notably correspondence with his most loyal (though much tried) supporter Winston Churchill, Piers Brendon's superb biography traces Edward's tumultuous public and private life from bright young prince to troubled sovereign, from wartime colonial governor to sad but glittering expatriate. With pace and panache, it cuts through the myths that still surround this most controversial of modern British monarchs.