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All in One Basket

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  140 Ratings  ·  20 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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(showing 1-30)
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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
Jan 29, 2014 LAPL Reads rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 22, 2011 Louise Culmer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
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
Stan Bebbington
Nov 02, 2014 Stan Bebbington rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to point out that I have a connection with Debo, Duchess of Devonshire. During a holiday in Derbyshire we entered our beautiful small white collie in the open class of the Chatsworth Annual Dog Show. She looked at him and said, quite loudly, "We have a blind one here!". News to us and, I suspect, to him. The occasion passed into family history and led many years later, to my receiving a copy of her "All in one basket." Thus I had the pleasure of renewing my brief acquaintance with the Duc ...more
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.
Oct 20, 2011 Ann rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Lee Miller
Dec 20, 2012 Lee Miller rated it really liked it
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
Feb 21, 2013 Stevie Carroll rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 14, 2013 Pink rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: d-n-f
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
Mar 06, 2013 Autumn rated it really liked it
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
Jun 15, 2013 Alexis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Liz C.
Aug 24, 2016 Liz C. rated it liked it
I enjoyed the ease with which I could pick up this book and read a few stories, put it down, and pick it up again even a week or so later and not be missing anything. I liked the fact that some of the things the reader might not be familiar with were noted (Prime Ministers, etc.) and enjoyed reading this after I had come back from visiting Chatsworth.
Aug 25, 2014 Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 16, 2015 Kerry marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I probably read around half of this. I totally enjoyed what I read, but I'm in a different place right now and don't feel the need to finish it. I expect it will find itself at the school fair next month.
Ah, the inane witterings of the spoilt upper classes. It probably passes for wit amongst those keen to suck up (you know who you are Mr Playwright), but it's hard work finding an amusing or interesting anecdote in amongst this collection of ramblings.
Jul 03, 2014 Anne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ok, this is very British, very esoteric, and though I got a few laughs, there was too much that this American couldn't relate to. You'll see if you pick this up.
Nicole Sunderlin
Must be day of the snooze reads. Only good part involved the Kennedy's (true for so many things)
Leslie Street
Apr 03, 2012 Leslie Street rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 14, 2014 Fran rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just beautiful, a story of the most amazing life growing up in the most amazing family. I loved this book.
Margaret Heller
Dec 06, 2011 Margaret Heller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
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!
Julie rated it really liked it
Apr 06, 2012
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Dec 07, 2016
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Deborah Vivien Freeman-Mitford Cavendish, Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, who published under the name of Deborah Mitford, 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 th ...more
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