• The Woman Before Wallis

  • A Novel of Windsors, Vanderbilts, and Royal Scandal
  • By: Bryn Turnbull
  • Narrated by: Mary Jane Wells
  • Length: 11 hrs and 24 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (724 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“Brimming with scandal and an equal amount of heart...a sweeping yet intimate look at the lives of some of history’s most notorious figures from Vanderbilts to the Prince of Wales.... A must-read.” (Chanel Cleeton, New York Times best-selling author of When We Left Cuba and Next Year in Havana)

“Bryn Turnbull takes a story we think we know and turns it on its head, with captivating results.... A beautifully written, meticulously researched and altogether memorable debut.” (Jennifer Robson, USA Today best-selling author of The Gown)

For fans of The Paris Wife and The Crown, this stunning novel tells the true story of the American divorcée who captured Prince Edward’s heart before he abdicated his throne for Wallis Simpson. 

In the summer of 1926, when Thelma Morgan marries Viscount Duke Furness after a whirlwind romance, she’s immersed in a gilded world of extraordinary wealth and privilege. For Thelma, the daughter of an American diplomat, her new life as a member of the British aristocracy is like a fairy tale - even more so when her husband introduces her to Edward, prince of Wales. 

In a twist of fate, her marriage to Duke leads her to fall headlong into a love affair with Edward. But happiness is fleeting, and their love is threatened when Thelma’s sister, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, becomes embroiled in a scandal with far-reaching implications. As Thelma sails to New York to support Gloria, she leaves Edward in the hands of her trusted friend Wallis, never imagining the consequences that will follow. 

Bryn Turnbull takes listeners from the raucous glamour of the Paris Ritz and the French Riviera to the quiet, private corners of St. James’ Palace in this sweeping story of love, loyalty, and betrayal. 

©2020 Bryn Turnbull (P)2020 Harlequin Enterprises, Limited

What listeners say about The Woman Before Wallis

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully Written

As an enthusiast of both the Vanderbilt and royal family’s histories, I thoroughly enjoyed listening about their connection. I hadn’t known the Prince of Wales was in a relationship with another divorced American. The whole way through, I was completely entranced with the author’s beautifully written story of Thelma Morgan.

23 people found this helpful

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Couldn’t stop listening!!

Fascinating storyline. Historical fiction is my favorite genre and this did not disappoint. Huge kudos to the narrator. She really brought the story to life. Loved the different voices she used for the characters. Highly recommend!

22 people found this helpful

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My Kind of Story

Found this book interesting to the end. i enjoy reading history of interesting individuals.

14 people found this helpful

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Surprisingly Good

Why did I rate this surprisingly good ? Maybe it’s a bias, but in my experience books under the Harlequin imprint are light on good writing and heavy on romance; this book contradicts this opinion. It’s well written and the history takes center stage to the romance. The author has done the research to make this a compelling story. The narration is wonderful !

9 people found this helpful

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Maybe have the narrator pronounce the main characters name correctly…

really disliked it,
I didn’t catch that it was a novel- I’m not crazy about this kind of thing, which projects conversation and actions onto an actual historical person.
The narration was mixed, narrator is able to do a large number of voices, but some of these seem entirely inappropriate, Lord Furness, instead of speaking in the “high received pronunciation” of the upper upper classes, sounds like a country pub keeper, and Thelma’s brother sounds like a parody of a 1940’s New York cabbie.

btw- Her name was pronounced in the Spanish style, “Telma”, not “Thelma”

4 people found this helpful

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Eh...

Didn't keep my attention. I probably should've just Googled some of this. Narration good, though.

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent story and narration!

I almost didn't pick this book. I'm glad tht I did! I loved the narration and how the narrator could use so many accents and voices. I thought I knew the whole Wallis-Prince story.

3 people found this helpful

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interesting and well performed

Vivid writing makes the story of Thelma, Lady Furness, mistress to the Prince of Wales before Wallace Simpson carried him off, come alive. Thelma was blessed and cursed with loyalty, empathy, and devotion to her identical twin sister Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt - qualities that compounded the. tragic elements of her own life. A very interesting and diverting tale.

3 people found this helpful

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Very interesting!!

I enjoyed this tale! Its much different than my typical listen, but I found myself embroiled in this tale of socialites, royalty, intrigue, and more! The narrator was amazing!! And overall, the book was well worth the credit!!

2 people found this helpful

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Little known story of Thelma Morgan

Incredible book about Thelma Morgan, the twin sister of Gloria Vanderbilt. She was the Paramour to the Prince of Wales. Captivating story about life behind the scenes for the Windsors and the Vanderbilts. Excellent narration. So very enjoyable! It’s a page turner!

1 person found this helpful