"Diana Queen of Hearts" written by Marc Cerasini

Essay by baby*cakesHigh School, 12th gradeB, June 2004

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It is a common assumption that biographies and general non-fiction will represent an issue in a balanced and objective manner, however, the book "Diana Queen of Hearts" written by Marc Cerasini does not fit this description to a large extent. The author delivers a biased life story of Princess Diana as he has created gaps and silences, foregrounded and marginalised people, and certain information and events does not concur with supplementary research.

Gaps & silences

As biographers write from discursive positions that have been socially constructed, they are no more or less 'honest'. They cannot be neutral, and make decisions about what to 'leave in' and what to 'take out' of a life story, thus socially shaping representations of their subjects. Cerasini does this in several ways. For instance, it was Diana and Charles's tenth wedding anniversary and when asked what she had planned for the occasion, Diana replied, "What is there to celebrate?" This has created a gap, and without further obtaining a quote from Prince Charles, the author is therefore silencing the Prince.

This invites the reader to view Prince Charles as the cause of the demise of his marriage. Furthermore, Cerasini selectively created the belief that Diana was left with nothing after the divorce as he quoted, "...Diana was stripped of the honorific 'Her Royal Majesty' but was permitted to retain the title 'Princess of Wales'." The Royal family was silenced and so, created the dominant ideology that Diana was treated very badly by the Royal family. The book has exploited the use of gaps and silences that reinforce the values, attitudes and preferences of Princess Diana at the expense of Prince Charles and the Royal Family. This invited reading often leads to the foregrounding and marginalisation of prominent characters in her life.

Foregrounding & marginalisation...