Amanda Ferrell's Reviews > The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family

The Sisters by Mary S. Lovell
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Sep 10, 11

Read from September 05 to 10, 2011

The six Mitford sisters and a brother, Tom,were born to a Peer of the realm, Lord Redesdale and his wife Sydney. There were allowed to be individual and pursue their interests at will, although they were not allowed to go to University. They were raised in the manner of the time, with nannies, a nurse and tutors at home and less parental involvement than is common nowadays. The family rambled on in a happy way, surviving World War 1. The run up to the Second World War and the Second War took a toll on the family. Tom, the without a spare, died in fighting in Burma, very late in the War. With Decca a communist and Unity and Diana at the fascist end of the spectrum, conflict was inevitable between the sisters. The rift between Diana and Decca was never resolved. Diana and Unity met with Hitler many times, especially Unity (whose middle name was Valkyrie and who happened to be born in Swastika, Alaska by a strange quirk of fate.) The sisters made a splash in the 1930s because of their politics, the elopement of Decca at 19 with a fellow communist to go fight in the Spanish Civil War and the divorce of Diana from her Guiness heir husband for Sir Oswald Mosley a married fascist. Ultimately, Unity shot herself in the head at the declaration of war between her two bolved countries. She survived, with significant brain damage for another decade.

The sisters were witty, charming and very active. Four of the six published works of fiction and history, with Nancy best known for her satires based the family personalities, family stories and way they were raised. Decca (Jessica Mitford) was well published in this country, was part of the civil rights movement, the American COmmunist Party and was called before Joe McCarthy. Debo became the Duchess of Devonshire and wrote about the Devonshire stately home and later about her life. Diana published several books, always trying to rehabilite her husband's career, although they remained unrepentantly on the far right end of political life.



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