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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 14 June 2014
Sheila was obviously a great charmer and had a fascinating life. I congratulate Wainwright on unearthing her. Now however she deserves a better biography Wainright has scant knowledge of British families and titles and the book is full of glaring errors and fawning verbiage. Where was the editor? Such a shame. Let's hope this book spurs someone else to look at Sheila's life.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 September 2014
Sheila, what to say? This takes you into a world of great privilege via British and international aristocracy, royalty, Hollywood film stars, noted writers and artists, all set in the international five star locations of grand country houses, luxury apartments and hotels, hosting grand hunting parties and balls and also glamorous charity events.

But what of Shelia herself? A woman from a good Australian family who appeared to enchant everyone who came into contact with her by her grace, charm and great beauty. This is a fascinating look into the early part of the 20th century and how the very rich lived. It takes you through two world wars and you see that Sheila experienced both great happiness and incredible sadness.

The author Richard Wainwright has clearly done a great deal of research to write this biography and all credit to him for his great efforts. However, by the end of this book, I still didn't really know Sheila. For me the book lacks the depth needed for a biography.
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on 8 February 2014
After all the hype this book has received, I was rather disappointed in it. The story of Sheila Chisholm, the Australian girl who married into the British aristocracy and became intimate with many famous people, including royalty, has a great deal of intrinsic interest. I suppose I therefore expected more of her personality and character to emerge -- but as the author points out, Sheila was discreet in her unpublished memoir, and probably there aren't enough other original sources to give us more of her "voice". The book is excellent at telling us where and when Sheila did what, and due credit is given to her wartime nursing and other charitable work. Many of the socialites she knew are familiar from other books, so this one doesn't cover much new ground. The author seems unsure of whether Sheila actually had a love affair with Prince Albert (later George VI) or not, but there is almost certainly no evidence either way. Overall, I found the book rather superficial, a list of fabulous social events and prominent people. I was interested, but wanted more depth, but I suspect there just weren't enough sources available. As Sheila withdrew somewhat from social life, the book loses impetus and rather fizzles out. One niggle was that the author often gets titles wrong -- "Viscount of Norwich", "Lady Sheila Loughborough" instead of "Sheila, Lady Loughborough", "Lady Diana Mosley" for "Lady Mosley" (and this in reference to an event before Diana Guinness married Sir Oswald Mosley.) Small things, but important in a book about titled people. So -- an interesting enough book, but without much depth. At least it makes a change to read about an Australian rather than an America marrying into British high society.
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on 15 July 2014
Passed the time, but if you don't read it you've not missed anything. Also, many irritating errors i.e. the Duke of Winsor was not called Edward, but David; 'Nanny' was not the pet name for the children's nurse but the name every child's nurse was referred to as a nanny, and called such.
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on 15 April 2014
Another most enjoyable read. This period of the late 19th and early 20th century is most interesting. I wish there was more about her life with her third husband which would have been a fitting end to this book.
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on 22 June 2014
I had never, ever heard of Sheila before I read the book. Having read it, I wonder why I hadn't! It's an easy to read and absorbing book, full of gossip about all the people I do know. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a good read and a good gossip about the rich and famous.
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on 11 May 2014
Easy to read and contains a peep into the lives of so many other well known people from that age including the Royal family, Diane Manners and others. Excellent book.
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on 22 July 2015
I found the writing stilted. I became quite bored very early on. If reading about a spoilt rich girl willing to hop into bed with anyone in order to climb the social ladder is your thing then this book might be for you. I would not recommend it.
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on 24 July 2014
What a surprise - a wonderful book - the title nearly put me off, but I was aware of the subject matter so went for it.
The gossip of the timing is great - I haven't read that much about any goings on with George V1 but this revealed a more interesting man! I know that is not the main character and just one of the many in the book, but it was interesting.
I love the whole of it and was so sorry when I had finished it.
I wonder if there are a few people of the 60's and 70's who are similar to Sheila in their 'catchment'?
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on 28 February 2014
I read this whilst travelling across Australia.The references to the smells and sights in Oz were just spot on. I found the book fascinating and a treasure to read about such a wonderful woman.
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