Carefree, revelatory and intimate, this selection of unpublished letters between the six legendary Mitford sisters, compiled by Diana Mitford’s daughter-in-law, is alive with wit, passion and heartbreak.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. A correspondence of this scope is rare; a collection penned by six born storytellers is irreplaceable.
Reviews of The Mitfords: Letters between Six Sisters
- ‘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