‘A novelist would never get away with inventing this: a correspondence spanning eight decades, written from locations including Chatsworth and Holloway Prison, between six original and talented women who numbered among their friends Evelyn Waugh, Maya Angelou, J. F. Kennedy and Adolf Hitler.’ J. K. Rowling
‘A glorious portrait of a six-way, life-enhancing, lifelong conversation.’ Sunday Times
'The Mitfords are all competitively exasperating…but slowly, cumulatively, as age and death are stared gallantly in the eye, I ended in tears.' Guardian
‘Absorbing, funny and often very moving…a remarkable story of six remarkable personalities.’ Philip Hensher, Spectator
‘Here, for the first time, are the six women’s own voices booming out from the tomb and across the decades…telling their extraordinary stories, which…is also the story of the twentieth century, told from the front row.’ India Knight, Sunday Times
‘Brilliantly entertaining…and a profoundly moving experience.’ Sunday Telegraph
'An anthropologist’s treasure…Every sister, whether a professional writer or not, has an extraordinary natural talent for narrative: for observation, reflection, jokes, dialogue and description, and deploys it with unfailing energy.' The Times
'”The Mitfords” is a thrilling and moving, funny and serious book. Here is a story of a family, of loyalty, love, humour, tragedy and, at times, chilling deception, a tale that sometimes amuses and horrifies, but always fascinates.' Daily Telegraph
‘The roars and shrieks, the jokes and the teases bounce across every page of this hugely enjoyable book.’ Evening Standard
‘The enduring fascination of this family comes not only from the larks and the society names but from the fact that the big currents of the twentieth century – fascism and communism, wars and death – washed through their lives.’ Financial Times
‘Funny, sad, outrageous and impeccably edited…it never flags for a moment.’ Mail on Sunday
From the Inside Flap
"A novelist would never get away with inventing this: a correspondance spanning eight decades, written from locations including Chatsworth and Holloway Prison, between six original and talented women who numbered among their friends Evelyn Waugh, Maya Angelou, J.F Kennedy and Adolf Hitler." J.K Rowling
Less inhibited than their memoirs and more intimate than the biographies written about them, this selection of unpublished letters between the six legendary Mitford sisters is alive with wit, hilarity, passion and heartbreak. The letters constitute not just an idiosyncratic social and historical chronicle of the 20th century, they also chart the stormy but enduring relationship between six beautiful and gifted women who incarnated the same indomitable spirit yet carved out starkly different roles and identities for themselves.
Nancy, the scalding wit who transferred 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 the Second World War; Unity, whose obsession with Hitler led to her attempted suicide; Jessica, the runaway communist and fighter for social change; and Deborah, the genial socialite who found herself Duchess of Devonshire.
Writing to one another to confide, commiserate, tease, rage and gossip, the sisters set out, above all, to amuse, and never lost the ability to laugh at themselves. A correspondance of this scope is rare, for it to be penned by six such born storytellers makes it unique.