Review: Ma’am Darling by Craig Brown

Title: Ma’am Darling – 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret

Author: Craig Brown

Pages: 432 Pages

Publisher: 4th Estate

The Blurb

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 1950’s 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.

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

I have a soft spot for Princess Margaret. I think it is because she just kept losing her spot, her place in the royal family shifted so naturally as the heir in succession, she never really had a place in line to the throne that was as important as she seemed t think she was. Therefore, she didn’t really find a way to fit in and was denied the things she so desperately wanted – which very simply seemed to be loved.

In his book, Ma’am Darling, author Craig Brown presents you with various stories about Princess Margaret. Situations and encounters that she found herself in. Some of them are true and some are made up. You, as the reader, are left to figure out which is which.

Princess Margaret is one of he most interesting royals and whilst these stories may seem wild and unbecoming of a princess I would really like to pretend that she did all of them. The world of the royal family would just be so much more fun if they were all true.

Ma’am Darling – 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown is available now.

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