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All in One Basket

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  89 ratings  ·  14 reviews
The Duchess of Devonshire, born Deborah Freeman-Mitford, is the youngest of the famously witty Mitford brood of writers, agitators, and icons. Here she recalls anecdotes about famous friends from Evelyn Waugh to John F. Kennedy; her struggles and success at Chatsworth, England’s greatest stately home; and of course tales of her beloved chickens, which the Duchess began rai ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Picador (first published September 1st 2011)
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Beth Bonini
I read this in a B&B (with paper-thin walls) in Bakewell, the night before visiting Chatsworth.
While I am a huge fan of Mitford's writing, this collection of essays (most of them previously published, and some of them mere snippets) is not representative of her best work. I would recommend "Wait for Me!" -- a more thorough and satisfying memoir in every way. I have a feeling that this book was put out to capitalise on the former's success.
LAPL Reads
Deborah Vivien Freeman-Mitford Cavendish, Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, is the youngest of the Mitford sisters whose interests and social views were all over the political compass. One sister was a Communist; one sister and her husband were imprisoned during World War II for their fascist views and overtly supporting the Nazis; several other siblings were unofficial supporters of fascist politics; and two others preferred the agrarian life. As a child, the Duchess, was tormented and teased by h ...more
Louise Culmer
Deborah Devonshire has had a long and interesting life, and this is a delightful collection of articles covering the many diverse subjects in which she is interested. There is lots about country life of course, about animals and people and the changing face of rural Britain, and about her beloved Chatsworth. there are articles about people she has known, and events she has witnessed, including very vivid descriptions of the inauguration of President Kennedy, and of his funeral.

There are many me
Shawn Thrasher
The Mitfords continue to cash in on that famous name, even as the last left enters her 90s. The best bits in this book were about President Kennedy's inaugural and funeral (her husband's brother's wife was President Kennedy's sister). None of the book was badly written - just kind of dull. And everything felt jumbled together, without much explanation. A mixed bag for sure, with much more pips than cherries.
This woman has enjoyed (by accident of birth) watching much of 20th century western history first hand. When relating her diary entries, it could be somewhat interesting. Over all, it's so banal as to be mind numbing. How in the world did this book get published? Three hours of my life I'll never get back.
Hhm. I love reading about the Mitford sisters. I enjoyed reading Debo's earlier book 'Wait for me' so I thought I'd enjoy this too. Not so.

Firstly, this isn't a novel, or a memoir. It's an assortment of one or two page thoughts, compiled into two separate books and put together here in one volume. I didn't get very far, but mostly the ideas seemed to centre around the countryside, animals and farming. No problem there, except that I disagreed with all her ideas.

For me, it's one thing to read a
Lee Miller
Charming in an “I’m a Duchess but I try to act like normal people, but it’s hard, you know, because I’m a Duchess” kind of way. Perhaps that’s a little unfair. This book brings together two of her previously published books of brief essays, book reviews, and speeches. They are immensely fun, great light entertainment, and they shine a light on the British aristocracy in a way you wouldn’t get otherwise.

She brings a lot to the table: she is, of course, one of the Mitford sisters; her brother-in-l
Stevie Carroll
I'm an unashamed fan of Debo Devonshire, and this book definitely didn't disappoint. I'd read some of the stories before, in other works, and I don't always agree with her opinions, but her insights are always fascinating. This book comprises two of her earlier collections, along with three pieces which haven't been collected together before. Delightful illustrations by the author's son-in-law, Will Topley, complement the humour in the stories perfectly. Where else but Windsor Castle could one l ...more
I have read every book written by Deborah Devonshire and she is a strong character in my mind. Her words so often ring a bell of recognition or inspiration. And always with humour. This book discusses the role of country houses in Britain, life in Derbyshire and a very poignant and close account of JFK. I leave each of her books feeling a little wiser.
This might be the most witty and wonderful books I've ever read! What a treat! If Downton Abbey's Dowager Countess Violet existed in the 21st Century and started raising chickens - then her name would surely be Deborah Mitford. And she would be Countess of Devonshire. This was a book given to me by a friend, and at first I couldn't see why she would possibly think it was something I would enjoy. Rarely do I laugh out loud while reading - but I could hardly constrain myself reading the Countess' ...more
I was thoroughly and utterly charmed by Debo Devonshire and her collection of essays. Some reviewers have said it was rambling or dull; I happen to agree and I mean those things in the best possible way. Her stories are rambling - she's a Mitford and a duchess, and has known and befriended people from the Kennedys to prime ministers to local farmers to the ladies of the local Women's Institute, and writing about all that does tend to get a bit rambling. And yes, chickens may be a little mundane ...more
Leslie Street
I just love her stories. I love her reflections on life. This collection of stories and thoughts is completely whimsical and entertaining. I think I will be quoting her for life.
Margaret Heller
A compilation of two earlier books. A portrait of a world that is immediately familiar from literature, but incredibly alien as well. And lots of stuff about chickens!
Nicole Sunderlin
Must be day of the snooze reads. Only good part involved the Kennedy's (true for so many things)
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Deborah Vivien Freeman-Mitford Cavendish, Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, was brought up in Oxfordshire, England. In 1950 her husband, Andrew, the 11th Duke of Devonshire, inherited extensive estates in Yorkshire and Ireland as well as Chatsworth, the family seat in Derbyshire, and Deborah became chatelaine of one of England’s great houses. She is the author of All in One Basket, Wait for Me!, Coun ...more
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