Anne Sebba is a biographer, historian and author of eleven books who lectures to a variety of audiences in the US and UK, including the English Speaking Union, Royal Overseas League, National Trust, British Library and Imperial War Museum. A former Reuters foreign correspondent, Anne is now a broadcaster - she presented a BBC R3 documentary about the pianist Harriet Cohen and for Radio 4 the documentary 'Who was Joyce Hatto?' - and regularly appears on television talking about her books, mostly biographies including Jennie Churchill, William Bankes, Laura Ashley and Wallis Simpson. The latter, published as That Woman, was an international bestseller. Her latest book is a history of Paris between 1939-49 through women's eyes published in 2016 as Les Parisiennes: How the women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s which has already been optioned for a TV multi part series. Anne is a former chair of Britain's 9,000 strong Society of Authors.
TALKS BY ANNE AT THE FESTIVAL
That Woman or The Duchess of Style?:
Time to Reassess Wallis Simpson
Friday 24th March - 14.00 - 15.00 SOLD OUT
Anne Sebba separates the facts from the myth of Wallis Simpson. She will explore who this woman was and what was the power she had over King Edward Vlll. Eighty years since the Abdication in 1936, it is now time to reassess That Woman.
The talk is based on at least three years of research into why this Baltimore woman, born in 1896 into relative obscurity, was so demonised by the British establishment and wider commonwealth, accused of being a spy, prostitute or Nazi sympathiser, yet how, after she married the ex-King and became Duchess of Windsor, she turned her exile and hatred into a platform from which to launch herself as one of the world’s best dressed woman who entertained in the most elegant homes fit for a King – or an ex-King.
Was Wallis simply a clothes horse for dress designers and jewellery makers or did she have a heart that has never been fairly understood? Anne Sebba will include many pictures in this lecture of Wallis and the clothes and jewellery she had made especially for her as well as the homes she lived in. But Anne will also tell the story of how, in the context of the 1930s, this woman with three husbands was unacceptable as Queen of England and of the Empire. Anne will explore who this woman was and what was the power she had over King Edward Vlll. Eighty years since the Abdication in 1936, it is now time to reassess That Woman.