Carefree, revelatory and intimate, this selection of unpublished letters between the six legendary Mitford sisters, compiled by Diana Mitford's daughter-in-law, is alive with wit, passion and heartbreak. The letters chronicle the social quirks and political upheavals of the twentieth century but also chart the stormy, enduring relationships ...
Carefree, revelatory and intimate, this selection of unpublished letters between the six legendary Mitford sisters, compiled by Diana Mitford's daughter-in-law, is alive with wit, passion and heartbreak. The letters chronicle the social quirks and political upheavals of the twentieth century but also chart the stormy, enduring relationships between the uniquely gifted - and collectively notorious - Mitford sisters. There's Nancy, the scalding wit and bestselling novelist; Pamela, who craved a quiet country life; Diana, the fascist wife of Sir Oswald Mosley; Unity, whose obsession with Adolf Hitler led to personal tragedy; Jessica, the runaway communist; and Deborah, the socialite who became Duchess of Devonshire. Writing to one another to confide, tease, rage and gossip, the Mitford sisters set out, above all, to amuse. A correspondence of this scope is rare; a collection penned by six born storytellers is irreplaceable.
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Publishers Weekly, 2007-07-09 The six notorious and passionately opinionated daughters of the second Baron Redesdale knew many key figures of the 20th century, from Hitler and Churchill to Evelyn Waugh and Lucian Freud. The sisters wrote some 12,000 letters to each other over a span of 80 years-the last was a fax sent in 2003 by 83-year-old Deborah to the dying 93-year-old Diana-and 5% are included here. The turbulent years before and during WWII produced the most noteworthy correspondence: Jessica scandalized her family by running away with her Communist cousin, and Diana divorced a Guinness heir to marry British fascist leader Oswald Mosley. Anti-Semitic Unity gushes like a schoolgirl over Hitler and tells Jessica that she wouldn't hesitate to kill Jessica's Communist husband for Nazism-but in the meanwhile she hopes they can be friends. Nancy writes cheerily to the imprisoned Diana after secretly testifying against her during the war. In later years, Jessica irritated her sisters from her home in America and broke completely with Diana over political differences. Peppered with colorful nicknames, filled with love, encouragement, jealousy and gossip, and written primarily to amuse the recipients, the letters testify to the bonds of sisterhood. Diana's daughter-in-law has diligently edited the mammoth correspondence, although readers will need to fill in the gaps with Mitford biographies and memoirs. B&w illus. (Nov. 6) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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