Carefree, revelatory and intimate, this selection of unpublished letters between the six Mitford sisters is alive with wit, passion and heartbreak.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.
Left, Left, Left
In the early 1980s I began working on my first book, a biography of Nancy Mitford. Four of the six Mitford sisters were then still living, Pamela in the Cotswolds, Diana in Paris with her second...Read more
Jessica Mitford found the act of sitting down to write formidably hard. ‘’Tis now 12:30 on the first day I was to really work all day on the book,’ she reported to her husband and daughter in...Read more
Shrieks and Floods
It’s been hard to avoid the Mitfords recently. A collected edition of the letters of Jessica (‘Decca’) was published in 2006. The following year another collection, this time of the letters...Read more
The Paris Effect
Brimming. That was how I spent my first weeks in Paris. Brimming with tears at the smallest setback. For Nancy Mitford’s Northey in Don’t Tell Alfred, dispatched to Paris to be secretary to Fanny...Read more
Hons and Rebels | The Society of Hons
Unity and I made up a complete language called Boudledidge, unintelligible to any but ourselves, into which we translated various dirty songs (for safe singing in front of the Grown-Ups) and large...Read more