Very Good/Very Good. Lge 8vo 0091555604 Heavy book, due to weight I can only supply this book to a UK address. Dust jacket complete. Blue cloth boards with bright gilt titling on spine. No ownership inscription. Foxing mainly to page tips. Photographs / plates. 605 pages clean and tight. Between 1904 and 1920 David, second Lord Redesdale, and his wife Sydney produced six daughters and one son-the seven Mitfords. They included Nancy, the novelist and historian; Diana, who married fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley; Unity, friend of Hitler; Jessica, who became a communist and then an investigative journalist, and Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire and mistress of Chatsworth. The other two were less well known, but all seven have shared in the family character and helped to shape the family story. Jonathan Guinness looks for the origins of this unusual family among its ancestry, recalling some interesting characters whose careers may provide clues to the character of the seven. Their paternal grandfather was a classical scholar, a clever and intuitive observer of nineteenth-century Japan, and a perceptive restorer of some of our best-loved ancient monuments, including Hampton Court and the Tower of London. His wife was related to the Stanleys, another famous family of English eccentrics, and through them to Bertrand Russell. On the other side, their mother's father founded the satirical weekly, Vanity Fair, and later became a campaigning politician, famous for his pertinacity and his pungent wit. The portrait of the family that emerges displays flamboyant contrasts on the surface, but these are seen to mask a fundamental unity. The girls were well-educated, though in their books they deny it. They teased each other to the point of cruelty, but underneath the teasing was an inarticulate affection. They disagreed, and went very different ways, but all are subtly linked by family likeness. The Mitfords were said always to be either in shrieks of laughter or in floods of tears, and their story contains the material for both. They also knew many of the most fascinating people of their time Lytton Strachey, Lord Berners and Emerald Cunard were friends. It was John Betjeman who coined the phrase The Mitford Girls', and Evelyn Waugh who suggested to Nancy the title of The Pursuit of Love. Jonathan Guinness has admirably succeeded in placing this remarkable family in the context of its turbulent times and in recalling both the amusement and the occasional anger it has aroused.
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