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Sheila: The Australian beauty who bewitched British society by [Wainwright, Robert]
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Sheila: The Australian beauty who bewitched British society Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Length: 410 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

As social history Sheila Chisholm's life is fascinating... it's undeniably enjoyable to read of all that glitter and gold. --Selina Hastings, Spectator



A marvellously entertaining story that at times resembles a glossy television period drama. --Daily Express



A sensational look at how a country girl became a city socialite... a rip-roaring biography. --Marie Claire



The charm of Wainwright's biography is that he makes us see what an engaging, admirable and sometimes heroic quality it is to be a life-enhancer like Sheila. --Jane Shilling, Daily Mail



A seductively antipodean Auntie Mame. --The Times

About the Author

Robert Wainwright has worked as a journalist for thirty years and is the author of five books. He lives in London.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4752 KB
  • Print Length: 410 pages
  • Publisher: Allen & Unwin (1 Feb. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HCY5K70
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #180,107 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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By lai on 15 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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