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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,332 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tina Brown Narrator: Tina Brown Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2007 ISBN: 9780739343487
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Ten years after her death, Princess Diana remains a mystery. Was she “the people’s princess,” who electrified the world with her beauty and humanitarian missions? Or was she a manipulative, media-savvy neurotic who nearly brought down the monarchy?

Only Tina Brown, former Editor-in-Chief of Tatler, England’s glossiest gossip magazine; Vanity Fair; and The New Yorker could possibly give us the truth. Tina knew Diana personally and has far-reaching insight into the royals and the Queen herself.

In The Diana Chronicles, you will meet a formidable female cast and understand as never before the society that shaped them:   Diana's sexually charged mother, her scheming grandmother, the stepmother she hated but finally came to terms with, and bad-girl Fergie, her sister-in-law, who concealed wounds of her own. Most formidable of them all was her mother-in-law, the Queen, whose admiration Diana sought till the day she died. Add Camilla Parker-Bowles, the ultimate "other woman" into this combustible mix, and it's no wonder that Diana broke out of her royal cage into celebrity culture, where she found her own power and used it to devastating effect.  

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • A delightfully smart and insightful book that... weaves a compelling human drama into a rich social history.
    Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe
  • REVIEWS
  • From The New York Times Book Review:
  • Tina Brown has produced something that is, as well as absorbing and stirring, witty and penetrating. Christopher Hitchens, author of God Is Not Great
  • With “The Diana Chronicles,” Tina Brown breathes new life into the saga of this royal “icon of blondness” by astutely revealing just how powerful, and how marketable, her story became in the age of modern celebrity journalism....Brown offers an insightful, absorbing account of the pas de deux into which, to her eventual peril, Diana joined with the paparazzi. As the former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, Brown certainly has the authority to examine the Princess of Wales as a creation and a casualty of the media glare.
    -Caroline Weber
  • From The New Yorker:
  • By now, there have been dozens of books....But the best book on Diana is the newest, "The Diana Chronicles"... by Tina Brown....her book is, among other things, a miracle of access....She tells the story fluently, with engrossing detail on every page, and the mastery of tone which made her Tatler famous for being popular with the people it was laughing at.
  • -John Lanchester

  • From The Chicago Tribune:
  • ...[An] insanely readable and improbably profound new biography...."The Diana Chronicles," Brown's hotly awaited dish on the princess, [is] more than a mere gossip-fest....real charm and substance lie in Brown's analysis of contemporary media....It is terrifically well written, with motion-capture phrases that instantly distill some complicated essence of contemporary life into a few deft adjectives.
  • -Julia Keller
  • From The Boston Globe:
  • The Diana Chronicles," by Tina Brown, former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, peels many layers of... mystery away and even makes the old horror stories of [Diana's] life seem fresh....Brown gives them new vigor, with insights based on her own exhaustive research and a wickedly canny, celebrity-trained eye for detail.
    -Amy Graves
  • From The Washington Post:
  • ...Brown's jam-packed, juicy roll in the high cotton is... fragrant with the rich schadenfreude that makes Top People so much easier to bear. And in return for its rumored $2 million advance, it includes shovelfuls of hot fresh dirt, tucked among the standard (and amazingly detailed) iconic fare. Remember the sex-soaked phone tapes (Diana as Squidgy, or Charles's Tampax fantasy)? Remember the Royal Love Train? Dueling media manipulation? Jealous attention-grabbing? Top-of-the-line adultery, divorce and money-grubbing?...The sour wisdom Brown gleaned during decades spent editing chic magazines glints throughout her book, like rhinestones under sackcloth....Diana's tragicomedy is Shakespearean in scale, with its slippery royal machinations, its agonized ironies, its seething jealousies and heartbreaking inevitability....a walloping good read.
    -Diana McLellan
  • From The Wall Street Journal:
  • Only Ms. Brown could deploy such words as "hottie" and "propinquity" in the same sentence. In her hands, a trashy (if delicious) tale is rendered vividly mordant. She writes with the feline flair of a woman who has met, but not necessarily liked, most of the characters in her book and who has an uncommonly good way with characterization....The book's greatest attraction, however, is its sheer wealth of detail, by turns salacious, vinegary, depressing and hilarious....a psychodrama, a morality play, a pageant of recklessness and revenge, of passion and pity, of loneliness and looniness.
    -Tunku Varadarajan

  • From The LA Times:
  • I read every whiplash chapter and came away rubbing my cervical vertebrae...."The Diana Chronicles," Brown's account of the young aristocrat's marriage to the heir to the throne, motherhood, divorce and death, has enough of Diana's hairpin personality turns, emotional drops and gleeful summits to be a Disneyland thrill ride....Brown reminds us of her instantly intimate, magical presence.
    -Patt Morrison
  • Nothing comes close to Tina Brown's book for its tight grip on the dark human comedy that was Diana's life and death. Brown knows the ritual dances, the shouts and whispers of the tribes of Britain better than anyone who has ever written this story but she also has a perfect ear for the way ordinary people responded to the doomed Princess. The result is a compulsively page-turning trip to the poisoned place where class met glamour and the result was catastrophe. Simon Schama, author of A History of Britain
  • This is not only first-rate biography, but a marvelous social history, and a bitingly accurate portrait of the English upper classes. Michael Korda, author of Charmed Lives and Ike
  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • One of the 2007 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathryn | 2/20/2014

    " Excellent, extensive and inclusive biography of Princess Diana. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Delight | 2/12/2014

    " The definitive book on Princess Diana. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marianne Meyers | 2/11/2014

    " Tina Brown is very thorough, most of the stories I already knew. So much sadness and disappointment and unfulfillment on a grand, public scale. This book is comprehensive and authoritative on Diana's life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy L. | 2/6/2014

    " Mock me if you will, but this is a fair-minded look at the phenomenon that is Diana, Princess of Wales. I've read (far too many) of the biographies, both pro- and anti-Diana, and Brown offers information that's new to me and fresh insights. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zeana Romanovna | 1/26/2014

    " Well written but very biased as I expected. I liked Diana and what she did to use her position to do good, but the book shows two sides of a coin. One a very caring person, the other a very calculating personality. It's quite a study into human behavior if read from a philosophical point of view. Highly recommended reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julianne | 1/10/2014

    " It is most difficult to review this book. I found it fascinating because I have always been interested in the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, but the way it is presented here seems to me cheap and some of it almost tawdry. I think some of the princess's life events could have been treated with more discretion and care. One can't deny that this life is indeed interesting, but one could hope that its presentation in a book could have been more gracious. I found this to be more sensationalistic than a deep, thoughtful exploration of this beautiful but very complicated lady. I think there are other books out there which cover the subject with more thoughtfulness. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rebecca | 12/29/2013

    " I can't believe this was one of the NY Times Notable Books of the year -- there's no reason for that except they love Tina Brown. I think someone could write an interesting book about Princess Diana, but this is not it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kalei | 12/4/2013

    " A lot of interesting information, presumably factual. Enjoyed learning about the background from childhood, which is the majority of the focus of the book. An interesting look inside the life of Princess Diana. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 12/1/2013

    " I can't believe I read this whole book, but I couldn't stop! I picked it up after reading "Untold Story" by Monica Ali, which credits "The Diana Chronicles" for background information. I am at a loss to explain why I find this stuff interesting; a guilty pleasure I guess. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Faye | 11/13/2013

    " Diana was destined to be the Princess of Wales, with or without her consent. She is portrayed as The book suggests that she was actually a pretty complex woman, who was extremely calculated & intelligent,yet also so naive, and who only want to experience love. I loved it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura | 9/29/2013

    " Dirt on Di in microscopic detail. Not my thing after all. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah Richey | 9/7/2013

    " Grabbed this because I wanted to read more by Tina Brown (Daily Beast), I'm absolutely hooked. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Candace Wooten | 8/22/2013

    " A book version of the gossip columns telling of Princess Diana's life. Good book, except a little too revealing. Some things are better left untold. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marianne Jay | 8/8/2013

    " A lot of people didn't like this book. I did. It was very insightful. What sets this apart from other books, was that it didn't have an agenda. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa Craig | 7/19/2013

    " A light summer read, and break from denser material. Such a sad life she led . . . "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becky | 5/24/2013

    " Another great story about Diana, I have read others and cang et an idea of the woman she was. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 5/1/2013

    " I let myself fall into the obsession just for the 1 month it took to read this book. I'm glad I did, but now I'm done! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caroline | 2/6/2013

    " This book answered every single question I ever conceived of about Princess Diana. I bet I've read at least thirty books about her from 1980 on and none of them came close to the level of detail Tina Brown apparently got from everyone she interviewed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erica Pearson | 1/17/2013

    " i won this in a drawing and was originally very unenthused about reading it -- but find it hard to put down. The schmaltz factor is minimal, and Brown is able to cleverly examine Di's celebrity and appeal. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 10/19/2012

    " Very detailed, absolutely fascinating bio of Diana. Tina Brown's voice and commentary were also a welcome addition. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paulette | 8/1/2012

    " I can't believe how much I am affected by this book... pissed off all over again at how awful a time "the firm" treated Di!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alissa | 7/26/2012

    " Intense, possibly TOO detailed, gossipy, schadenfreuderiffic fun. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Betsy Wiens | 5/27/2012

    " Listened to the book on tape during a long drive. Perfect for that. Well narratd and interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chea | 3/26/2012

    " Yes, it's shameful that I not only read this, but I enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz | 3/24/2012

    " Kind of like a prequel to the movie "The Queen". Like the movie, this biography focuses on the relationship triangle of Diana, the media, and the royal family. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan Sanderman | 2/8/2012

    " Another page-turner I couldn't put down. Only for those interested in the Royal Family to begin with. MUCH better than any of the other books I've read on the subject; the story of her early home life was all new to me. Really lets you know what goes on behind the palace walls. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurie | 1/2/2012

    " The Diana exhibit just opened at Union Station; I can't wait to go. Thought I'd learn as much as I could before I go. This is a good start. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurie | 3/6/2011

    " The Diana exhibit just opened at Union Station; I can't wait to go. Thought I'd learn as much as I could before I go. This is a good start. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathryn | 2/3/2011

    " As far as sordid celeb biographies go, this should be at the top of the list. Tina Brown writes about the fascinating life of Princess Diana in such a way that it reads like a fast-paced novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/20/2011

    " Admittedly, my reading habits took a trashy dive last year...But if you're going to read trash, this is kind of fascinating. The royals are crazy... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Trudy | 12/22/2010

    " Oh, yes, I did. And I even dare to admit it. :-) Definitely enjoyable in that reading-People-Magazine-at-the-hair-salon kind of way. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brenda | 11/26/2010

    " I used to read a lot of books about Diana. I can't remember a lot about this one or the author. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suzanne | 10/12/2010

    " Brown's handling of Diana's story seems even-handed. Interesting, involving and witty. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julia | 9/8/2010

    " Interesting facts about the lovely Diana Spencer. Her early years explains much to her development ot the woman she became. "

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About the Author
Author Tina Brown

Tina Brown is married to Sir Harold Evans. The couple has two children and resides in New York.