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The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family Paperback – 20 May 2003

4.4 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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  • The Mitford Girls: The Biography of an Extraordinary Family
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  • The Mitfords: Letters between Six Sisters
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Product details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (20 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393324141
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393324143
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 4.6 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 258,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"The Mitford girls were probably the most spectacular sister act of the twentieth century."

"A rivetingly intimate history lesson....Lovell evokes a fascinating swirl of hunting parties, inherited castles, plane crashes, love affairs, suicide attempts and two world wars."

"In her history of England's Mitford sisters, who were major figurs in the internaitonal political, literary and social scenes for much of the twentieth century. Lovell rises with aplomb to the challenges of a group biography, deftly weaving together the narrative threads of six at times radically disparate lives to create a fascinatign account of a fascinating family."

A captivating read. --Amy Strong"

A dazzling cast of characters.... A rivetingly intimate history lesson.--Anneli Rufus

Vivid social history that reads like a novel.... An impressive group biography.--Malinda Nash

These women were so powerfully, inescapably, passionately alive.... The book remains engrossing from beginning to end.--John Powers

Lovell deftly weaves together the various strands of her subjects' lives, making great use of letters, interviews and unpublished correspondence, as well as interviews with the two surviving Mitford sisters, Diana and Deborah.--Matthew Price

This biography presents a fascinating family to a new generation of readers.--Lisa Levy

Lovell rises with aplomb to the challenges of a group biography, deftly weaving together the narrative threads of six at times radically disparate lives to create a fascinating account of a fascinating family.

A captivating read.--Amy Strong

The Mitfords' stories have been told over and over again, but.... Lovell, utilizing previously unseen documents, explores the relationships between the sisters... and presents the utter 'fun' of this privileged but madcap family.--Allen Weakland

About the Author

Mary S. Lovell's best-selling biographies include Straight on Till Morning (Beryl Markham) and The Sisters (the Mitford family). She lives in England.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I don't like biographies; but I absolutely adored this book, it covers a huge subject - the lives of 6 remarkable women spanning much of the 20th Century. Mary Lovell has researched their lives and manages to convey the story wonderfully. Obviously because of the constraints of how large a book can actually be there maybe more detailed, individual biographies out there but I think this is a great place to start - it certainly has set me on the path to finding out as much as I can about these women who lived such glorious lives right at the forefront of history.

To give you a little taster there is:

Nancy - the famous author, in love with an aloof Frenchman.

Diana - the glamorous beauty who left her husband for the head of the British Nazi party (Oswald Moseley) and spent much of the second world war sleeping under a fur coat in a dank prison cell.

Decca - who ran off to fight on the communist side in the Spanish Civil & later became a prominent member of the Black civil rights movement in America.

Unity who fell in love with Hitler and tried to kill herself on the day war was declared between Britain and Germany. Hitler himself organised her return to Britain.

Debo - who declared when she was 6 that she wanted to be a Duchess and is the current dowager Duchess of Devonshire.

Pam - the farmer, my only complaint about this otherwise wonderful book is that Pam really gets very little coverage.
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Format: Paperback
If you've read "Hons and Rebels" first and then, curious about what happened next, pick up this tome, you're in for a nasty fall. Obviously, not everyone can be a Decca in wit and style but Lovell's book is, to quote Decca once more, "'Woman's Own' writing". On the upside, it's meticulously researched and draws on a wealth of previously inaccessible material, most of all private letters. So if you're simply interested in the facts about the entire family, this is, unfortunately, the only place to go. But the bland style and moralistic tut-tutting about Decca (hardly ever about Diana, the unrepentent Nazi) is annoying to say the least. I couldn't agree more with the other reviewers who pointed out that Lovell is clearly biased towards Diana and against Decca. The whole book is, inadvertently, an example of what Decca in "Hons and Rebel" calls "disapproving auntism". Lovell is a disapproving auntie and that shines through on every page.
Four stars for the research job but one, at most, for the judgmental author who doesn't begin to be a match to her fascinating subjects.
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Format: Paperback
Like reading the Daily Mail Sunday Magazine the very opposite of Mitford esque (light sharp and witty)writing.
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Format: Paperback
An excellent read and quite well written. Exhaustive research has been carried out and the book is a sympathetic and amusing account of the life of the Mitford family
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good value for money. Good size print, easy to read. Substantial book with photos, albeit not on glossy paper. I'm looking forward to immersing myself in it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this book is a very easy read about a fascinating family. Mary Lovell 's style is to write like a novelist and so the book is very hard to put down.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very informative information, I am very interested in this period and the Mitford sisters have contact with most important people in there time.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting book on this amazing family. Thoroughly enjoyed hearing all about their varied lives,.Their attributes, and the people they knew.
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