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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rounding out the Mitfords
I think this is a book that is best approached after you are more familiar with the individual stories of the Mitford sisters because it really puts their unique lives and behaviours into a proper and understandable context. How did David and Sydney manage to raise that incredibly diverse and entertaining brood? What was it about the Mitford inheritance that almost made...
Published on 16 Nov 2011 by Scribe

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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The House of Mitford
I was rather disappointed in this promisingly hefty looking tome, as I had anticipated facts, substantiated by research, and objective information about the eccentric Mitfords - in fact, what one would expect from any usual work of non-fiction. Instead, it seems to be populated by reminiscences, impressions and not terribly interesting personal observations. Pervading...
Published on 15 Jan 2007 by Reader


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rounding out the Mitfords, 16 Nov 2011
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This review is from: The House of Mitford (Paperback)
I think this is a book that is best approached after you are more familiar with the individual stories of the Mitford sisters because it really puts their unique lives and behaviours into a proper and understandable context. How did David and Sydney manage to raise that incredibly diverse and entertaining brood? What was it about the Mitford inheritance that almost made their life choices inevitable?

All the answers are here in a densely packed format - not the sort of book you can dip in and out of but then its so well written you want to stay in it to the very last page.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lot of inside information!, 6 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The House of Mitford (Paperback)
Jonathan Guinness is Diana Mosley (neé Mitford)'s son, so he had access to all the inside information on the much written about Mitford girls. I found much more info in this book than in the Nancy Mitford biographies by Harold Acton or Selina Hastings, although I must say I enjoyed the latter very much. The girls' grandparents turn out to be very interesting people (especially the grandfathers). You get a deeper insight of a number of the members of the family (Farve and Muv, for example). The history of Unity M. in Germany seemed a bit long, and I got the impression Mr. Guinness tries too hard to explain Mr. and Mrs. Mosley's fascism. In all, I found this book very entertaining, and I recommend it to all Mitford fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book, 1 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The House of Mitford (Paperback)
but with an obvious bias against Decca and pro-Diana. Neither of them needs to be defended or condemned. They have their own merits
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fab, 21 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The House of Mitford (Paperback)
Highly recommend....a clear and informative book about the Mitford family. Lots of detail and historical facts. Gives a good picture of the family.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative information, 6 May 2013
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This review is from: The House of Mitford (Paperback)
I never tier of the information gained through the lives of this family, every book and audio book adds a little more information on people of that period.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the house of mitford, 25 Nov 2012
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This review is from: The House of Mitford (Paperback)
i bought the book for my mother and she thoroughly enjoyed it as she does every book she asks me to order from yourselves.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The House of Mitford, 15 Jan 2007
By 
Reader (Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The House of Mitford (Paperback)
I was rather disappointed in this promisingly hefty looking tome, as I had anticipated facts, substantiated by research, and objective information about the eccentric Mitfords - in fact, what one would expect from any usual work of non-fiction. Instead, it seems to be populated by reminiscences, impressions and not terribly interesting personal observations. Pervading throughout was a whiff of apologia, justification and vindication of the Mitfords' more controversial views. I think it would be difficult to write a pedestrian biography of the Mitfords, but this succeeds marvelously, to the point that I had to put it down, unfinished, as it simply did not grab.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointing, 30 Jan 2014
This review is from: The House of Mitford (Paperback)
A disappointing book. Far too long for a start but its most annoying aspect is its bias. Perhaps one should not expect impartiality from writers so closely related to the family. I note that Lees-Milne referred to its 'exemplary impartiality'. Well, up to a point Lord Copper. It is mostly an apologia for the reprehensible political views of Diana and Unity - Decca comes off with much less protection. First written in 1984, this paper back version was brought up to date in 2004. It is written throughout in journalese - lazy, windy writing with many irrelevant details. And not always proof read properly : what is the book called 'Portrait of Love' on p.265? Not a book to recommend. It did little to change my view that the family is really pretty awful.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rather disappointing, 5 May 2011
This review is from: The House of Mitford (Paperback)
The first part of the book spends a lot of time on the Mitford girls' grandfathers; rather too much time I felt. I was itching to get onto the Mitford family itself, but then when I did I realised the grandfathers' lives were actually far more interesting (although the portrayal was overly-positive, both men, Bertie in particular, were more or less portrayed to have no faults whatsoever).

Onto the main part of the book: some of the details of the Mitfords' childhood were interesting, and as a whole it's an interesting portratit of English landed gentry life in the early 20thC.

However, as I read on the book irritated me more and more.

The style is heavy-handed and disorganised. The relationships between the children and indeed between children and parents were badly drawn - that is, very little light was shed. But most annoying of all is the bias in this book. It is so obvious that Jonathan Guinness is trying to vindicate his mother, Diana Mitford (the Fascist). Despite his best attempts, Diana still comes across in a bad light (or at least did to me). You would have thought that, with all the writings the Mitfords left behind - reams of memoirs, letters and novels - as well as the personal insights one would assume the author has - this would be the definitive book on the Mitfords. Far from it.

My advice - give it a miss. There's far better material out there on this subject.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An apologia, 30 Dec 2007
By 
Mr. C. E. Moreton (Poole UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The House of Mitford (Paperback)
The book is an interesting attempt to widen out interest in the family from just the famous sisters. It spends rather too long on the grandfathers trying to find eccentricities to explain the characters of the girls.
More importantly, as one other review suggests, it is heavily biased towards justifying the Fascist sympathies of several of the girls, their brother and their mother. In fairness there is no attempt to conceal this, and the fact that it is written by family members makes the sympathy understandable and recognisable.
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The House of Mitford by Jonathan Guinness (Paperback - 4 Nov 2004)
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