The Mitfords

The Mitfords

Letters Between Six Sisters

Book - 2007
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The great wits and beauties of their age, the Mitford sisters were immoderate in their passions for ideas and people, counting among their diverse friends Adolf Hitler and Queen Elizabeth II, Cecil Beaton and President Kennedy, Evelyn Waugh and Givenchy. As editor Charlotte Mosley notes, not since the Brontës have the members of a single family written so much about themselves, or have been so written about.

The Mitfords offers an unparalleled look at these privileged sisters: Nancy, the scalding wit who transformed her family life into bestselling novels; Pamela, who craved nothing more than a quiet country life; Diana, the fascist jailed with her husband, Oswald Mosley, during World War II; Unity, a suicide, torn by her worship of Hitler and her loyalty to home; Jessica, the runaway Communist and fighter for social change; and Deborah, the genial socialite who found herself Duchess of Devonshire.

Spanning the twentieth century, the magically vivid letters of the legendary Mitford sisters constitute not just a superb social and historical chronicle; they also provide an intimate portrait of the stormy but enduring relationships between six beautiful, gifted, and radically different women who wrote to one another to confide, commiserate, tease, rage, and gossip--and above all to amuse.

Publisher: New York : Harpercollins, 2007.
ISBN: 9780061373640
Characteristics: xxi, 834 p., [36] p. of plates :,ill. ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Mosley, Charlotte


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May 24, 2015

I have been fascinated by these sisters for years. I had read "The American Way of Death" by Jessica which was my first implication that the capitalists were not on our side. I believe that she helped us somewhat although it amuses me to see people paying for long, expensive obituaries in the newspaper. So what did we learn? Diana has been in my mind, always wondering just how nice was the jail that she and Mosely occupied during WWII? I just finished his son's "Time at War" which, once again made me realize that a good education stands one in good stead — even in wartime. Unity's miserable life and poor decisions make me shudder ,and now that Doorothy, the baby of the family, has died, I feel somewhat bereft. Although I personally do not know any Duchesses, she was the most "sensible" of the five women, and I have always been taught to be sensible. I have loved the two DVDs about Chatsworth and her huge part in creating this business. She pops up in many places, even in "Little Gloria, Happy at Last." (Familiar because Anderson Cooper is Gloria's son.) I am very much looking forward to reading this book. I love the positive comments on this page.

debwalker Jan 24, 2012

Fascinating lives of five aristocratic sisters who grew up in a country mansion in the Downton era.

lsims Nov 11, 2009

My best read of the year so far. The sister's lives are fascinating and the book is both a romp through history, and a reminder of the enduring bonds of family. Romance, rivalry, betrayal, and forgiveness - it's all here. I couldn't put it down.

Jun 09, 2008

I didn't want this book to end. it is an engrossing look at the lives of the (notorious? amazing?) Mitford sisters, but also gives a sweepinbg look at England throughout most of the 20th century, albeit from the perspective of members of the upper/upper-middle class. Plus, there's the frisson that always accompanies reading other people's mail (even though it's sanctioned!).

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