In 1933, Maybell Brumby, recently widowed, goes to London where her sister and family live and renews her Baltimore childhood friendship with Bessie Wallis Warfield Simpson. Mrs. Simpson, as history has reported, was the woman – and a not very attractive one at that – who was responsible for King Edward VII abdicating on the eve of World War II. David, as family and intimates called the King, was a weak, easily-led manchild who became so dependent on Wallis that he could not function without her. The story, told in the form of Maybell’s diary, is a fascinating, thoroughly entertaining, take on history. Loaded with interesting characters (not least is Maybell’s family, a mixed bag if ever one lived), amusing asides and anecdotes, you’ll come away with a new appreciation for this historically-important tale. After all, it’s why Queen Elizabeth is today’s English monarch (and probably why Camilla and Charles finally wed). A 4.

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