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Daisy Goodwin

Author of The American Heiress

29+ Works 4,707 Members 270 Reviews 3 Favorited

About the Author

Daisy Georgia Goodwin was born on December 19, 1961. She is a British television producer, novelist and poet. After attending Westminster School and Queen's College, London Goodwin studied history at Trinity College, Cambridge and attended Columbia Film School before joining the BBC as a trainee show more arts producer in 1985. In 1998, she moved to Talkback Productions, and in 2005, founded Silver River Productions. Her first novel, My Last Duchess, was published in the UK in August 2010 and, under the title The American Heiress, in the U.S. and Canada in June 2011. She has also published eight poetry anthologies and a memoir entitled Silver River, and was chairman of the judging panel for the 2010 Orange Prize for women's fiction. In 2014 her title, The Fortune Hunter made The New York Times Best Seller List. Her titles include The Fortune Hunter, My Last Duchess, Bringing Up Baby: The New Mother's Companion and Poems to Last a Lifetime. Television shows that she has worked on include How Clean is Your House, House Doctor, Grand Designs, Your Money or Your Life and Property Ladder. (Bowker Author Biography) show less


Works by Daisy Goodwin

The American Heiress (2010) 1,922 copies
Victoria (2016) 1,050 copies
The Fortune Hunter (2014) 720 copies
The Nation's Favourite Poems of Love (1997) — Editor — 225 copies
Diva (2023) 68 copies
Victoria: The Complete First Season (2013) — Creator & Screenwriter — 60 copies
Poems to Last a Lifetime (2004) 29 copies
Victoria: The Complete Second Season (2014) — Creator & Screenwriter — 25 copies

Associated Works


19th century (64) 2011 (18) adult (12) anthology (34) ARC (14) aristocracy (24) audio (13) audiobook (15) biography (20) Britain (14) British (19) drama (11) DVD (12) ebook (32) England (131) fiction (263) Gilded Age (35) historical (65) historical fiction (345) historical romance (11) history (36) Kindle (32) London (11) love (23) marriage (33) Newport (13) non-fiction (19) novel (17) own (30) poetry (240) poetry anthology (14) Queen Victoria (36) read (32) read in 2011 (14) romance (100) royalty (43) to-read (412) unread (17) Victorian (25) wealth (19)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Goodwin, Daisy
Legal name
Goodwin, Daisy Georgia
London, England, UK
Places of residence
London, England, UK
University of Cambridge
Columbia Film School
television producer
journalist (show all 7)
British Broadcasting Corporation
Talkback Productions
Silver River Productions
Orange Prize
Short biography
Daisy Georgia Goodwin is an English writer and television producer. She has published several novels and eight anthologies of poetry.



Daisy Goodwin owes Maria Callas a posthumous apology - not to mention Tina Onassis, Grace Kelly, Winston Churchill, Lee Radziwill and various other real life names with more skill and personality in their headstones than the author. I will admit that I only knew of Callas as the woman scorned by that repulsive hairy toad Onassis, who (let's be honest) bought all the women in his life, but she didn't deserve this treatment. With fictional biographers like this, who needs enemies? The author's note at the start of the novel should have been more along the lines of 'abandon hope all ye who enter' rather than 'I played with the timeline for dramatic effect, teehee'.

Apart from the clunky and amateur writing ('jumping up and down in excitement like an excited child'), I'm not even sure what image of Maria Callas Goodwin was trying to convey - do we admire her for building her natural talent into fame and fortune, as opposed to 'women with no direction beyond finding a man to finance their lifestyle'? Pity her for throwing away her independence on a womanising slick of oil like Onassis, which is somehow different to his teenage first wife or Jackie Kennedy and her sister, because Callas was a 'real woman' who only wanted to make her man happy? I honestly thought I was reading an ode to Onassis written by a male author - Maria's life story is defined by the few years she wasted on him, and he is the only person to receive fair treatment in the whole book. Even Grace Kelly, who is portrayed as a bitter drunk flirting with Onassis when in reality she had taste enough to hate him, is thrown under the bitchy bus. 'All I have done is smile and wave and have a couple of kids,' Goodwin actually has the Princess of Monaco tell Maria - which is a bad thing, despite the fact that Grace Kelly was also a self-made working woman before she married, because ... Well, I lose track. Maybe because she didn't get to marry Ari and have his children (which Maria didn't either, despite the rumours that Goodwin obviously latched onto)? I actually threw up a little in my mouth when Grace Kelly was rebuffed by Onassis - 'Grace was beautiful, and he could see the wickedness underneath the porcelain skin, but at this moment she left him cold.' Please!

Listen, Maria Callas made one big - or rather, short and squat - mistake in her life, but she was a real woman with incredible talent. Here, she and all of the other personalities in her life, apart from Onassis of course, are reduced to caricatures. How any author can suck the life out of people who actually lived documented lives is beyond me, but I think Goodwin started her research with Wikipedia as a checklist and then turned history into a soap opera. The bubble-headed first wife who deserved to lose her meal ticket - despite coming from a wealthy family herself - because she didn't love her cheating husband enough The calculating actress turned princess who wants the best of both worlds and throws herself at a man with gold taps on his yacht in the presence of her husband. The blameless bimbo who is better than the other actress because she too came from nothing and is therefore portrayed as a victim. The 'stick insect' women out for what they can get, despite maintaining a svelte figure being some kind of achievement in other women who also steal husbands. Not forgetting the mercenary first husband who 'admired Callas the great diva and not Maria the woman' and couldn't give his infertile wife a child.

I'm sorry for contributing to the author's gold coins, Madame Callas, even if I only paid 99p. You and every woman slated in this book deserve far better.
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AdonisGuilfoyle | Apr 12, 2024 |
From her poor beginnings Maria Callas has risen to become the greatest soprano in the world however, her personal life is not so fulfilled. In a loveless marriage, her manager husband pushes Maria too hard and when her voice fails, she is called a Diva, and worse. Then Maria meets the charismatic and fabulously rich Aristotle Onassis and falls in love. Can Maria get her happy ending or will she be like one of her tragic opera heroines?
Goodwin has a talent for writing fictionalised stories about well-known figures that contain enough fact to be taken fairly seriously but are actually just really great entertainment. Here her subject is the great operatic star Maria Callas but Goodwin focuses on the key years of her affair with Aristotle Onassis. There are some liberties taken for narrative effect but the author admits this and I think the changes make the story a better read - yes, it's very light but it's a well-crafted, enjoyable read.… (more)
pluckedhighbrow | Mar 23, 2024 |
This is a fictional account of Queen Victoria from right around when she turned 18 years old (just before she became queen) until she got engaged to Prince Albert, only a year or two after she became queen. So, it focused initially on her (strained) relationship with her mother (in part, due to her mother’s involvement with power-hungry Sir John Conroy). When Victoria became queen, the prime minister at the time, Lord Melbourne, advised her, despite his reputation with women and people worried that he would influence Victoria politically. The story then shifted to her meeting her cousins Ernst and Albert.

I listened to the audio and thought this was very good. In the past few years, I’ve read some about Victoria, so I don’t think anything in this book came as a surprise, but it was interesting and I feel like the author’s writing style is easy to “read” (or, in my case, listen to!).
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LibraryCin | 72 other reviews | Mar 1, 2024 |
Diva is a fabulous depiction of the life of Maria Callas, the famous and powerful soprano opera singer. A huge part of her tale includes her love affair with Ari Onassis. This book kept me spellbound. I know little of the real Maria Callas, but felt her emotions both in her music and her performances and as well her great love and the abuse of that love by Onassis. It was so readable and touching, even when I wanted to scream warnings at Maria.Perhaps Ms. Goodwin took liberties with her portrayal of the great Diva, but I felt it worked well, and I very much enjoyed the book.
My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this title.
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c.archer | 10 other reviews | Feb 28, 2024 |



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