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Diana: The Last Year

Spoto, Donald

88 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0609603183 / ISBN 13: 9780609603185
Published by Harmony Books, New York, New York, U.S.A., 1997
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Daniel Montemarano (Newfield, NJ, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

1st Edition/1st Printing. SIGNED and inscribed by author on a bookplate on front end page. light foxing to top page edges. $25.00 price present on DJ flap. Size: 8vo - over 7" - 9" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 022165

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Diana: The Last Year

Publisher: Harmony Books, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


For Diana, her final year was in many ways the most fascinating and insightful of her life. It was a turbulent, often amazing period in which she formally severed her marriage ties to the heir to the British throne, fell passionately in love with Dodi al-Fayed, and truly began to come into her own after years of personal adversity.

In the first hours and days after the news of Diana's death in Paris shocked the world, major media outlets from CNN to NBC turned to Donald Spoto for help in articulating the meaning of the tragedy and understanding its effect on the British monarchy, the worldwide public who admired and loved her, and, most important, her own family.

In Diana: The Last Year, Spoto tells for the first time the complete story of a woman in conflict. Diana was driven by a philanthropic desire to relieve suffering and change the world for the better. But she was also determined to make up for a youth that was taken from her, at the age of nineteen, when she entered the restrictive and, from her perspective, decidedly chilly House of Windsor. Like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, Diana in her last year was re-creating her public and private self.


Donald Spoto is a career biographer who's received critical accolades for his works on Tennessee Williams, Laurence Olivier, and Alfred Hitchcock, among others. All the stranger, then, to find him the author of Diana: The Last Year, written as a postscript to his The Decline and Fall of the House of Windsor, which he was working on at the time of Diana's death. Even readers who are comfortable with the princess's unofficial canonization may be taken aback by Spoto's book, which gilds England's Rose several layers thick in adulation and makes liberal use of quotations from the likes of Virgil, Swift, and Thomas More. Granted, the final year of Diana's life was one marked by an exhaustive schedule of appearances and speeches on behalf of charities and charitable causes (AIDS, the homeless, and a move to ban land mines, to name but a few), but seldom will you see the supposed impassivity of a noted biographer so completely abandoned in a book that features a soaring paean on its subject on nearly every page.

When he's not praising Diana, Spoto spends his time cataloging the cold, irrelevant, and spiteful character of the royal family, which is supposed to act as the necessary darkness to all of Diana's saintly light. At least they're given something approaching human attributes, unlike the elevated, but decidedly unrecognizable, subject of this book. --John Longenbaugh

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