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Diana in Search of Herself

Diana in Search of Herself: Portrait of a Troubled Princess
Diana in Search of Herself.jpg
AuthorSally Bedell Smith
PublisherTimes Books
Publication date
Media typePrint

Diana in Search of Herself: Portrait of a Troubled Princess is one of the books about Diana, Princess of Wales that was written by best-selling author Sally Bedell Smith.[1] It was published by the Times Books in 1999.[1][2] The book is the first authoritative biography of the Princess.[3]


The 320-page book focuses on troubled life of Princess Diana.[2][4] Smith interviewed nearly 150 people whose reports are used in the book to narrate the life of the Princess.[5] These people were mainly Diana's intimates, including British tabloid journalists.[6]

The most significant claim made in the book is that the Princess had suffered from borderline personality disorder.[2][7] It is also claimed that she could not fix her serious eating disorder and was not able to manage to sustain relationships.[8]


The book was included in the best seller lists of the following: The New York Times Book Review, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today Top 50, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Barnes & Noble and Publishers Weekly.[9]


Linda Richards of the January magazine stated that the book provides an unbiased portrait of the Princess.[4] In a similar vein, the Newsweek review of the book indicated "Smith has done a remarkable job extracting what's genuinely pertinent and interesting about Diana...If you're going to read one Diana book, this should be it."[9]

On the other hand, the author was criticized by Dorothy Packer-Fletcher because of her claim that Diana had been experiencing borderline personality disorder.[10][11] Packer-Fletcher suggested that in order to establish this diagnosis there should have been psychiatric examination.[10] She further argued that the author's statement was harmful because it was a "posthumous diagnosis of mental illness".[10]

The book became a bestseller, and was also cited as controversial.[11][12]


  1. ^ a b "Diana in Search of Herself". The New York Times. 1999. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Diana's Last Loves". People. 52 (7). 23 August 1999. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Diana in Search of Herself: Portrait of a Troubled Princess". Amazon. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  4. ^ a b Richards, Linda L. (August 1999). "The Final Word?". January Magazine. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  5. ^ Cassel, Elaine. "Diana: In Search of Herself". Psych on the Shelves. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  6. ^ Kahn, Joseph P. (12 September 1999). "Portrait of a Troubled Princess". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  7. ^ Moser, Margaret (30 August 1999). "The Huntress Captured by the Game". Weekly Wire. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  8. ^ "Diana in Search of Herself". Publisher's Weekly. 8 January 1999. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Praise and Reviews". S. Bedell Smith. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  10. ^ a b c Packer-Fletcher, Dorothy (1 February 2000). "Book Review". Psychiatric Services. 51 (2): 259–260. doi:10.1176/ Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  11. ^ a b Deirdre Donahue (29 January 2012). "'Elizabeth' Shows Many Facets of Britain's Queen". Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 21 October 2013. – via Questia (subscription required)
  12. ^ Sharon Churcher; Elizabeth Sanderson (8 January 2012). "History's repeating itself". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 31 May 2013.