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Pair – Hons and Rebels & Conundrum
Jessica Mitford, Hons and Rebels, Slightly Foxed Edition No. 52
Jan Morris Conundrum Slightly Foxed Edition
  • Dimensions: 110 x 170mm
  • Producer: Smith Settle
  • Genre: Memoir
  • Binding: Cloth hardback
  • Trimmings: Coloured endpapers; silk ribbon, head- & tailband; gold blocking to spine; blind blocking to front
  • NB: Hand-numbered limited editions of 2,000
Made in Britain

Pair – Hons and Rebels & Conundrum

Jessica Mitford, Jan Morris
From£34

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Strong-willed Women

Jessica Mitford, Hons and Rebels

In this funny and perceptive memoir Jessica Mitford describes growing up as the fifth of the six notoriously determined Mitford sisters. An isolated childhood in the hideous Cotswold house built by their father Lord Redesdale (‘Farve’), where life centred round the church and the Conservative party, turned ‘Decca’ as she was known into a lifelong socialist. At 18 she made her escape, eloping spectacularly with her charismatic left-wing cousin Esmond Romilly, moving to the East End of London and then running a bar in Miami. It’s a story of sheer bravado brilliantly told by one of the most eccentric members of an eccentric family.

Jan Morris, Conundrum

‘I was three or perhaps four years old when I realized I had been born into the wrong body and should really be a girl. I remember the moment well, and it is the earliest memory of my life.’

In 1972 James Morris booked a return ticket to Casablanca and underwent what would now be called gender reassignment surgery. Soon afterwards Jan Morris wrote a book about what it had felt like to live – or try to live – for forty odd years with the absolute conviction that she was a woman trapped in a man’s body, and how this agony had finally been resolved. Although Morris was not the first person to undergo this operation, she was probably the best known and apparently the least likely. After Oxford, and service in Intelligence during the Second World War, James Morris became a daring foreign reporter who scooped news of the first ascent of Everest in 1953. During the 1950s and ’60s Morris also produced a succession of brilliant travel books. And Morris was married with four children – a partnership of complete trust and openness which survived to the end. How James finally became Jan is an extraordinary story, and her memoir Conundrum is a gripping and thought-provoking read.



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...

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A Leap into the Light

I first met Jan Morris in the offices of the publisher Random House in New York in the early 1980s. I was a junior editor there, and was invited to meet someone I considered to be one of the most...

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Honourable Rebel

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...

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