copyright 1987; Doubleday & Company publishers, New York; hardbound in light grey and black boards with gilt stamp lettering along spine; very good condition with unmarked pages; includes black and white photos; dust jacket very good.



Despite two other recent biographies of her, this is a well-crafted, rich read about the late Princess of Monaco, the former Grace Kelly of Philadelphia and MGM. It is the Electra story retold with a vengeance. There seems to have been no escape likely for Grace Kelly, whose father John was an extremely handsome self-made multimillionaire, Olympic medalist, social climber and strict Catholic.


The Kelly family was ruled by his steel fist and its children expected to shine at athletics. Grace remained a disappointment to him to the end of his life, although her assumption of royal status in Monaco did lift him somewhat out the nouveau riche pit he lived in in Philadelphia. In a way, her marriage to Prince Rainier and the death of her film career were the final sacrifice she made to appease her father's insatiable social ambition. That he was a colossal boor was a fact she never admitted to anyone, however intimate.


When she won the Oscar for The Country Girl, he told reporters that her older sister Peggy was really the light of his life. When Grace took a friend home and displayed her father's private trophy closet, all of the family's cups were there--and no picture of Grace. So, it is no surprise that Grace's love life found her seeking out much older lovers, including Bing Crosby, William Holden, Ray Milland, David Niven and others, all of whom found her a willing bedmate quite opposed to the ice princess the press pictured her as. Other costars such as Clark Gable, James Stewart and Cary Grant did not climb into bed with her, though word about Hollywood was that she was ""an easy lay."" In fact, she had such a healthy sexual appetite that she was amazed that Prince Rainier thought she was still a virgin at 26 when he married her (after having his personal doctor test her fertility).


Grace's royal sadness, alcohol problem, and hard times with her daughters Caroline and Stephanie are detailed, somewhat like public replays of Grace's own earlier more private life. Her death leaves a mystery that will not be solved until daughter Stephanie, who was with her in the fatal auto accident, someday tells what she has so far kept to herself. Sexy, gripping, and sure to be in demand.

GRACE, The Secret Lives of a Princess by James Spada

SKU: BS97f