Ma'am Darling

  • by Craig Brown
  • Narrated by Eleanor Bron
  • 12 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From our funniest writer, a portrait of our most talked-about royal.
She made John Lennon blush and Marlon Brando clam up. She cold-shouldered Princess Diana and humiliated Elizabeth Taylor.
Andy Warhol photographed her. Jack Nicholson offered her cocaine. Gore Vidal revered her. John Fowles hoped to keep her as his sex slave. Dudley Moore propositioned her. Francis Bacon heckled her. Peter Sellers was in love with her.
For Pablo Picasso, she was the object of sexual fantasy. 'If they knew what I had done in my dreams with your royal ladies,' he confided to a friend, 'they would take me to the Tower of London and chop off my head!'
Princess Margaret aroused passion and indignation in equal measures. To her friends she was witty and regal. To her enemies she was rude and demanding.
In her 1950s heyday, she was seen as one of the most glamorous and desirable women in the world. By the time of her death, she had come to personify disappointment. One friend said he had never known an unhappier woman.
The tale of Princess Margaret is pantomime as tragedy and tragedy as pantomime. It is Cinderella in reverse: hope dashed, happiness mislaid, life mishandled.
Combining interviews, parodies, dreams, parallel lives, diaries, announcements, lists, catalogues and essays, Ma'am Darling is a kaleidoscopic experiment in biography and a witty meditation on fame and art, snobbery and deference, bohemia and high society.

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What the Critics Say

Praise for Craig Brown: "The amazing Craig Brown - the greatest satirist since Max Beerbohm." (Elaine Showalter)
"The wittiest writer in Britain today." (Stephen Fry)
"Every page is gold...genius." (Boris Johnson)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

La-di-da

Princess Margaret was a renowned beauty in her day, glamorous girl-about-town as a young woman and member of a raffish, pleasure-bent jet-set. As a royal, she took things to the edge and came to be the despair of the more traditional members of the royal family. Poorly educated and extremely spoiled by her indulgent father, perhaps because of his own miserable childhood, she became both difficult and demanding; her friends were expected to accept her arrogant and often selfish behaviour, which included cutting public put-downs. Acutely aware of being ‘second best’, always in the shadow of her sister, Queen Elizabeth, she made sure she too was treated as a queen everywhere she went and woe betide those who failed in this respect.

I found this book hugely entertaining, my one criticism being that the several ‘what if’
scenarios were an unnecessary distraction from this riveting story.

I think this book would appeal to women, mainly, and especially to those who remember the press furor over her broken engagement and subsequent, fateful marriage.
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- Pamela

Repugnant royal

This is fabulous! Read wonderfully by Eleanor Bron. I can't recommend this highly enough.
i will never look at those rubber sealed jars in the same way again.
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- Victoria

Book Details

  • Release Date: 21-09-2017
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited