Laura Daly's Reviews > Diana Mosley: Mitford Beauty, British Fascist, Hitler's Angel

Diana Mosley by Anne de Courcy
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Feb 14, 11

Read from January 31 to February 14, 2011

Having previously read Mary S. Lovell's offering on "The Mitford Girls" I was left interested enough to read more about them all. So I started with probably the most famous of them all, Diana. The book takes us from the Mitford childhood to marriage into the Guinness family where she had 2 sons with Bryan Guinness and then to her relationship with Mosley. The book is well written if quite matter of fact. I came about from the book disliking both Oswald Mosley and Diana Mosley even more than I did before I began this particular book. Oswald Mosley (OM from now on) comes across as both politically and personally repulsive, he treated his first wife Crimmie as badly as he could and I feel sure contributed to her death. His eldest child (with Crimmie) was a girl who he showed no interest in purely because she was female. He also did all he could to use and abuse the money the Crimmie's children had left them. He was a serial womanizer yet Diana Mitford was totally besotted by him. She left Bryan Guinness ( who everyone agrees was a lovely man) for Mitford at quite a young age and remained married to him for some forty five years or so. Her political views were like his anti semitic and in every way fascist. She was like her sister Unity besotted by Hitler and the Third Reich. She became close friend with Magda Gobbels and was married to Mosley in Germany. So it is really no wonder at the outbreak of war the British Government locked her away in HMP Holloway. While OM was doing his time in HMP Brixton.

The book does a very good job of getting to grips with what conditions where like in wartime prisons and how much Diana missed her son's (two by Bryan Guinness and two by OM) The book also does a very good job of explaining the Mosley's life after the war. Personally for me I found their life of being able to do no real work, travel and buy houses in London, the home counties, Paris and Ireland detached them from a sense of the lives the working class led. Diana Mosley was an very intelligent woman and very beautiful but I came away not liking her one little bit. There is lots of people in this book her sons, Mosleys children, their children, her sisters and her very loyal mother among others. If you are in any way interested in the Mitford's or the Mosley's this is a book you should read.
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