The People's Princess: Cherished Memories of Diana, Princess of Wales, from Those Who Knew Her Best

Larry King, Editor Crown $19.95 (227p) ISBN 978-0-307-33953-9

The subtitle notwithstanding, at least three of the essayists in this warm collection edited by CNN talk-show host King not only didn't know Diana best, they never met her. On the positive side, those who did know the princess, including her own secretary, Patrick Jephson, as well as less intimate acquaintances like Joan Collins, share some lovely memories of the woman they remember as compassionate, warm, loving and, above all, funny. British journalist Piers Morgan recalls that she had “a great laugh. A really earthy, infectious cackle.” The queen's former press secretary Dickie Arbiter remembers professing mock horror at a British princess driving a German car, to which Diana retorted, “Well, at least it's more reliable than a German husband.” While most of the contributors are admiring, several, including actor Robert Powell, mention her shortcomings as well, citing her temper and questioning her status as royal victim. Some of the pieces are simply maudlin, but one of the most genuinely touching ones is by Tessa Dahl (daughter of Roald Dahl and Patricia Neal), a childhood friend of Diana's. Interspersed with recollections of her chum, Dahl reveals painful details of her own life, and a writing talent that leave one hoping she'll write a memoir of her own. (July)

Reviewed on: 05/28/2007
Release date: 07/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 978-0-7393-2723-4
Open Ebook - 125 pages - 978-0-307-39428-6
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