Diana in Search of Herself: Portrait of a Troubled Princess

Front Cover
Times Books, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 451 pages
10 Reviews
Diana in Search of Herself is the first authoritative biography of one of the most fabled women of the century. Even those who knew Princess Diana will be surprised by author Sally Bedell Smith's insightful and haunting portrait of Diana's inner life.
For all that has been written about Diana--the books, the commemorative magazines, the thousands of newspaper articles--we have lacked a sophisticated understanding of the woman, her motivations, and her extreme needs. Most books have been exercises in hagiography or character assassination, sometimes both in the same volume. Sally Bedell Smith, the acclaimed biographer, former New York Times reporter, and Vanity Fair contributing editor, has written the first truly balanced and nuanced portrait of the Princess of Wales, in all her emotional complexity.
Drawing on scores of interviews with friends and associates who had not previously talked about Diana, Ms. Smith explores the events and relationships that shaped the Princess, the flashpoints that sent her careening through life, her deep feelings of unworthiness, her view of men, and her perpetual journey toward a better sense of self. By making connections not previously explored, this book allows readers to see Diana as she really was, from her birth to her tragic death.
Original in its reporting and surprising in its conclusions about the severity of Diana's mental-health problems, Diana in Search of Herself is the smartest and most substantive biography ever written about this mesmerizing woman.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Diana in Search of Herself: Portrait of a Troubled Princess

User Review  - Goodreads

I've read several books about Diana as they came out over the years, and this one breaks the mould because it captures her severely compromised mental and emotional state as a human being while ... Read full review

Review: Diana in Search of Herself: Portrait of a Troubled Princess

User Review  - Goodreads

Diana nearly brought down the House of Windsor. Boy oh boy, did they miscalculate and mismanage. Happily, they have learned and adjusted. The Duchess of Cambridge is (almost?) unreal. Kudos to the current PR team. Read full review

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (1999)

Sally Bedell Smith is the author of the bestselling biography of William S. Paley, In All His Glory, and Reflected Glory: The Life of Pamela Churchill Harriman. Ms. Smith began her career at Time magazine and has since worked at TV Guide and The New York Times, where she was a cultural-news reporter. She joined Vanity Fair as a contributing editor in 1996. She was awarded a Sigma Delta Chi Distinguished Service Award for magazine reporting in 1982 and was a fellow at the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center in 1986. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Stephen G. Smith, editor of U.S. News & World Report, and their three children. She can be contacted via the website www.sallybedellsmith.com.

Bibliographic information