From the Editor’s Desk in March 2023

Article | Issue: Mar 2023

As I sit here writing, it’s January, and every news feed or news program I look at or listen to is still blasting out about Prince Harry’s biography, Spare. I have been bombarded by information about this book and all the salacious details it contains for so long now. If I want to stay engaged with the world there is no escape, no matter how much I might choose to remove myself from it. I’m not saying I am not interested in his life or what he has to say. I’m just not interested in hearing it all repetitively.

Some admonish Harry for using the very media he despises to promote his book and, of course, the money that flows to him from that. Others say why shouldn’t he? Some say he is showing immaturity, not understanding what a privileged life he leads as he flies around on his private jet and enjoys all the perks that money can buy. Others have sympathy for the terrible trauma he experienced as a boy and the institution he grew up in. He was born into the Royal life, not having chosen it like those who have sought fame, and his youth was constantly controlled by ‘The Firm’. On one hand, yes, exceedingly privileged, on the other, unable to live freely. It’s a very tangled web. Autobiographies like this are always divisive.

Spare by Prince HarryIt’s like gossip at the office water cooler on steroids. You don’t really want to listen in. You have a strange guilt about it. But at the same time, you can’t help but lean in.

One thing is for sure. Autobiographies allow a person to put forward their own story that can rise above the mumbling media. People of celebrity status, whether they be royal, actors, or even Instagram influencers, are prime fodder for click bait stories. Stories with headlines that readers can’t help but click on, sometimes without a thought as to how much truth there is to it. Getting justice when false stories are published, or when your privacy is invaded, is expensive. It’s only for the wealthy, although these are the people who are often the targets of click bait stories that may only have a kernel of truth.

Perceptions can be created for those in the spotlight. Look at the dispute as to who Harry’s real father is. Stories become exaggerated, whispered among people until it becomes further distorted. Until finally, it’s such a shared story it appears to be fact. The fascination to know the inside story of the rich and famous drives the engine which spews more stories.

Writing your own life story can bring the truth to the fore. The truth in your words, or, in this case, at least your ghost writer’s words, with the facts, your memory of events. Your truth. You can raise your story above the mass media.

As satisfying as it can be to have your story out there and to squash the innuendo, gossip or untruths, I wonder if, for Harry at least, it will bring about the resolution he wants and needs. All we can hope is that he finds peace.

For others who have penned their own story, it has proved to be a cathartic process and a relief to have it shared. A weight off their shoulders. To be understood, or for a story to help others who have had similar lives or experiences, is such a positive outcome for the writer. Someone’s story can inform, help people empathise through their experiences, and provide a new understanding of others.

One difficult aspect of autobiographies can be the baring of secrets or stories that involve others. I wonder how some writers feel when they are writing their story. Do we have a right to involve others who are entwined in our life? Is this fair? Or is it just simply inevitable? You can’t write a biography without writing about others surely. Possibly pseudonyms? Autobiographies are also that person’s story as they experienced it and remember it. Others involved may see events quite differently.

This is all food for thought. Is there a right or wrong to sharing your story? Or is it all in the grey? For as long as books have been published, people have written about their lives. We humans are so very complicated.

Rowena

And Baxter. He doesn’t care about the past, as it’s all about living in this moment, right now.

Author: The Duke of Prince Harry Sussex

Category: Biography & True Stories

Book Format: Hardback

Publisher: BANTAM UK

ISBN: 9780857504791

RRP: $59.99

Reader Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all reviews

The Latest List