WRITING STYLE: 3.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.5/5
Who doesn’t know Her Royal Highness Lady Diana Spencer, the Princess of Wales and the queen of hearts who ruled the whole world by her charming ways and stunning beauty? We all have seen her, admired her, loved her and mourned for her at her untimely and unfortunate death. But what else do we know about her, apart from what we all have read and seen in the tabloids? Her innermost life and its complications remain a mystery to this day, even after 16 years of her death. Lady Diana has been the subject of many books and biographies, the most famous ones being those written by Andrew Morton, Paul Burrell, Simone Simmons & Tina Brown. The Diana Chronicles by Tina Brown is one among many others on the same subject.
In her quest to unravel the deepest secrets of Diana’s life, Brown starts off well by talking about Diana’s childhood. Her extensive research about Diana’s early days enlightens the readers not only about what Diana was like as a child but also about her family life and rich ancestral history. What was Diana’s relationship with her dad like? How well she mingled with her step mom and what was her relationship like, with her long estranged mom, all is very sincerely written about in the initial chapters about her early life. Brown, in her research of Diana, has gone as far as several generations, to unravel the connection between her and her great grand aunt the famous royal Lady Georgiana Spencer Cavendish, the then Duchess of York, who (as ironical as it may sound) just like Diana, was loved by all but ignored by her husband.
Since this was my first read on Lady Diana, comparisons with other similar works cannot be done. However, one thing which moved me deeply was her fairy tale like story. Just as any other fairy tale would have, Diana was the queen of hearts; one of the most beautiful and most charming women of her times, but as the twisted fate would have it, she never got the man of her dreams; never got to be truly happy. Her agony with respect to her accursed married life can be fathomed from her once famous and often quoted words “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded”.
Brown’s The Diana Chronicles in my opinion is an honest attempt to bring out the intricacies of Lady Diana’s everyday life. The book is chronologically written, with lots of information from various interviews and other books. The research, as suggested by the references in the end is quite extensive and seemingly exhaustive. Though The Diana Chronicles is quite an interesting read and kept me hooked till the end, one thing which could have been an added incentive was real pictures. There were many incidents when certain people, occasions, parties, dresses, accessories and other things were quoted and described. But the lack of pictures made it a little boring go to through descriptive. Unless otherwise supplemented by photographs, Brown could have avoided the details and saved us a lot of time and energy on futile descriptions. Rest assured, the book is a good read for people with an inclination towards England and its recent history and a must read for anyone who is a fan of royalty and “paparazzi”.