Foreign News: Woman of the Year

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Career. In London last week, authoritative sources continued their post-Abdication exploration and disclosure of the Story of the Year. It became possible to fill in the sort of life led by King Edward and Mrs. Simpson accurately. Her life up to Mrs. Simpson's meeting with Edward VIII was inconsequential to a degree, has never been rehearsed in TIME. She was born in one of those typical Southern families who all more or less descend from William the Conqueror, but Wallis Varfield was not going to spend her life talking about her family. She resolved early to make men her career, and in 40 years reached the top—or almost. No man she careered is known to have ever said a word not in her praise. Apart from her first husband Commander Earl Winfield Spencer, U. S. N., and her second (present) husband Ernest Aldrich Simpson, a London shipbroker, probably her best friend, next to the Duke of Windsor, remains the Argentine Ambassador in Washington, Felipe Espil. He, in the years of which he now speaks was an Argentine bachelor. First Secretary in Washington. "My, my!" sighed Ambassador Espil to swank U. S. friends last summer, "who would ever have dreamed that our little Wallis would ever be where she is now!"

Mrs. Simpson from the moment King George V died, began to "help" infatuated King Edward VIII, according to her lights. She helped him to spend thousands of guineas royally, imperially, wildly; and she helped him to pinch pennies, convincing His Majesty that in housekeeping she is most economical. Together they cruised the Balkans in one of the world's costliest yachts, they ransacked Carrier's in Paris for diadems, in October they picked out the ermine skins recently made up in London for Mrs. Simpson's Christmas (TIME, Dec. 28). Simultaneously she caught His Majesty's servants spending too much for things like bath soap and King Edward sacked retainers right & left on her lightest say-so.

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