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At one point in the narrative, Laura Thompson compares the Mitford sisters to the Kardashians, an analogy that emphasises the newsworthiness of the Mitford sisters as they made their mark on the world. But apart from debutant froth there was controversy, war, uncomfortable relationships with the German enemy, the toying with communism, marrying into the peerage and by Nancy's hand the fictionalising their lives for her novels causing greater notority. Six sisters so disparate yet so much the same, Laura Thompson teases out their lives and – especially valuable, their relationship with their parents. In an afterword we catch up on how their lives ended and now with the death of Deborah, all the Mitford girls have gone. ~ Sue Baker
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The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters, Charlotte Mosley
The eldest was a razor-sharp novelist of upper-class manners; the second was loved by John Betjeman; the third was a fascist who married Oswald Mosley; the fourth idolized Hitler and shot herself in the head when Britain declared war on Germany; the fifth was a member of the American Communist Party; the sixth became Duchess of Devonshire. They were the Mitford sisters: Nancy, Pamela, Diana, Unity, Jessica and Deborah. Born into country-house privilege in the early years of the 20th century, they became prominent as 'bright young things' in the high society of interwar London. Then, as the shadows crept over 1930s Europe, the stark - and very public - differences in their outlooks came to symbolize the political polarities of a dangerous decade. The intertwined stories of their stylish and scandalous lives - recounted in masterly fashion by Laura Thompson - hold up a revelatory mirror to upper-class English life before and after WWII.
'I was enthralled and charmed by this group biography of all six Mitford sisters, which tells the intertwined stories of their stylish scandalous lives in a fresh and admirably concise way - and with a striking contemporary sensibility too'
Bookseller, Editor's Choice
'Engaging ... Thompson's is an astute, highly readable and well assembled book, and she writes with particular intelligence about the sisters' self-mythologising and their ongoing hold on the public imagination.'
'Thompson is marvellous at mapping and explicating the webs or skeins of sibling rivalry [in this] gripping and appalling family saga'
'The first book to consider the whole six-pack in the post-Mitford age. And what a remarkable story it is ... Thompson retells the story with great style and illuminating detail'
'Thompson has written this book with generosity and delicacy. It is amusing, poignant and perceptive as a portrait of the sisters long lives and changing times, and of their own apparent inability to change with them'
Publication date: 11/08/2016
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Publication date: 08/10/2015
Publisher: Head of Zeus
|Publication date:||11th August 2016|
|Publisher:||Head of Zeus|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography,|
|Categories:||Biography: historical, political & military, Collected biographies,|
Laura Thompson is the award-winning author of Life in a Cold Climate: A Biography of Nancy Mitford; Agatha Christie: An English Mystery (2007) and A Different Class of Murder: the Story of Lord Lucan (2014). Author photo © Richard BlowerMore About Laura Thompson