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Counting My Chickens . . .: And Other Home Thoughts
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Counting My Chickens . . .: And Other Home Thoughts

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3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  116 ratings  ·  20 reviews
A unique window on an extraordinary life lived with tremendous zest, discrimination, and intelligence

The Duchess of Devonshire is the youngest of the Mitford siblings, the famous brood that includes the writers Nancy and Jessica. Like them, she has lived an unusually full and remarkable life, and like them she has an inimitable expressive gift. In Counting My Chickens, she
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Hardcover, 208 pages
Published October 15th 2002 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published September 1st 2001)
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False Millennium
Not the author her sisters Nancy and Jessica were. The book is a rich lady's indulgence. Snippets and thoughts of her past in the country in the inherited manse and past friends. She can talk with ease about hoof and mouth disease, turnips, tree mashing machines and hen breeds. The two most interesting "bits" for me (and I have read about the Mitfords extensively,) were when she talked about the old family church and her grandmother.

"In church at Edensor, while the glorious language of the 1662
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Roberta
Questa raccolta è una lettura un po' particolare, non il genere di libro in cui si incappa per caso, ma più che altro un libro a cui si arriva con precisione seguendo un determinato cammino. Nel mio caso, tutto parte dalle sorelle Mitford. Si tratta di sei sorelle (in realtà c'era anche un fratello, ma non fa molto testo evidentemente), appartenenti ad una famiglia aristocratica inglese, che furono molto famose negli anni Trenta e Quaranta dello scorso secolo, in parte per le loro scelte politic ...more
Ali
Deborah Devonshire – born in 1920 – was the youngest of the mad bad Mitford sisters. She married Andrew Cavendish who at the time wasn’t the heir – but upon his brother tragic death became the heir to the Devonshire Dukedom in Derbyshire. The duchess has worked tirelessly to make Chatsworth what it is today, work she has been passionate about, one wonders what might have happened to Chatsworth if not for Debo.
I have read a lot of books about the Mitford sisters or by one of the Mitford sisters.
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^
A wonderful assortment of articles, all beautifully (as expected) written.

The impact of Foot and Mouth restrictions (in 2001), where even Radio 2 is turned off in the lambing sheds … the challenge of opening modern packaging … the guilt induced by the reading of The National Trust Manual of Housekeeping (Stainton & Sandwith): the NT has never needed to concern itself about white mice, canaries, and games of Sardines.

The visiting head teacher (from an urban school, one presumes), who asks wh
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Iva
Can't get enough of those Mitfords? Then this is the book for you. Debo (Duchess of Devonshire) shares priceless musings, stories and observations. Some are columns from diverse periodicals--can you get more diverse than The Sunday Times and the British Goat Society Yearbook? What does she write about? Obviously there are some charming goats, but also books, literary and other friends, her "stately" home, which has over 400,000 visitors a year and of course, her family anecdotes are sprinkled th ...more
Brenda
Such an easy--to-read little book by an exceptional lady. Deborah, the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire (the youngest of the Mitford sisters)has told, within these covers, some interesting anecdotes from her life and that of Chatsworth, her husbands ancestral home. A good mix of fact,with humour and sadness all brought together charmingly by a lady who admits to being largely uneducated due to her fathers disapproval of education for girls.
Reading this book has whetted my appetite to read more of h
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Cathy
If you are keen to read all you can about the Mitfords then it is for you.
Christy
Delightful musings from the youngest of the famous Mitford girls, Debo, the Duchess of Devonshire. It's a pithy collection of scraps of her writing, about this-and-that, flowers, friends, books, and her estate, Chatsworth (the house from all the Jane Austen adaptations). I learned that there is - believe it or not - a society in Britain for wall building. And they have tournaments, with prizes for the best wall. (Only in England.) This small volume, with a forward by Tom Stoppard, only propels m ...more
Hazel McHaffie
If you've visited Chatsworth this slim volume of reflections by the now Dowager Duchess is well worth reading. She writes with flair and humour about everything from her rebellion against petty rules on health and safety to her limited reading, her love of clothes from agricultural shows to her childhood habit of tasting church pews. She's been instrumental in making Chatsworth one of the country's leading historic homes with a world famous farmyard and farm shop but she sounds entirely unpreten ...more
Helena
It's okay, though apparently my anglophilia does not extend to reading the random thoughts of a duchess. Tried to get into it a few times, just didn't hold my attention.
Barendx van den Bergh
This book was given to me by the lovely Lady Auriol Linlithgow as a Xmas gift in 2002. I was working for the Lady on her exquisitely beautiful country house Bryngwyn. Xmas was always so festive, but that's another story.... Yes this was bit difficult to understand as it is written from the Duchess life experiences, so there where times were I had to read to story again, well yes then I understood it a bit better. And YES the book is even signed by the Duchess......x
Katharine Holden
A vanity press sort of book of reflections and scraps. If she weren't a Mitford, no publisher would have touched it. She doesn't really have anything interesting to say but talks a lot anyway. I think she means to slay certain groups of people with her wit (feminists, persons concerned for animal welfare, visitors to her stately home who dare to send her letters of complaint about conditions, etc.), but her writing lacks the wit to slay them. A silly book.
Elaine
Oh, do I love reading about this family of eccentric daughters. I thought she was probably the most sensible of the sisters, but I withdraw most of that idea. She is upper-class, has humorous opinions and observations while loaded with her gift of erudite charm. She is wonderful to read! I wonder what her children are like. Did she raise them to be hunted by hounds like her father did with his children?
Dot
I enjoyed this collection of essays, book reviews and memoirs by the youngest of the Mitford sisters, largely for its nostalgia and its sometimes quirky stories of events in her life and of people she has known.
Lisa
I find the Duchess' views on fox hunting to be in her own words, unspeakably vulgar.
Forget the chickens. Eat the rich.
Dmknoell
Hilarious! This woman doesn't take herself too seriously in spite of the fascinating life she has lived. love-love-love
93bcn
Here's my review of this book.
Jennifer
I enjoyed reading this, especially in conjunction with reading the Mitford Sisters' letters.
Jaylia3
The youngest, self-described illiterate, Mitford sister has written a very funny book.
Julie Barrett
My second favorite Mitford sister.
Andy Harding
Andy Harding marked it as to-read
Dec 14, 2014
Christine Foulkes
Christine Foulkes marked it as to-read
Dec 12, 2014
Mary
Mary marked it as to-read
Nov 28, 2014
Maja
Maja marked it as to-read
Oct 30, 2014
Maja
Maja marked it as to-read
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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
More about Deborah Cavendish...
Wait for Me! In Tearing Haste: Letters Between Deborah Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor Chatsworth: The House All in One Basket Home To Roost and Other Peckings

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