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The Mitfords


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/ Key title The never-before published letters of the legendary Mitford sisters, alive with wit, affection, tragedy and gossip: a charismatic history of the century's signal events played out in the lives of a controversial and uniquely gifted family. / A sumptuous and beautifully presented hardback collection of never-before published letters of the legendary Mitford sisters. / The Mitfords are a cottage industry: sales of 'The Pursuit of Love', Nancy's most popular novel, remain strong. Interest at acquisition was so high that preemptive first serial offers were made. / Editor Charlotte Mosley, daughter-in-law of Diana Mitford, has edited two previous and very successful selections of Nancy Mitford's letters; she has exclusive access to the 18,000-letter archive at Chatsworth House. / The vast majority of the unseen letters include letters from Unity, the Hitler supporter who shot herself at the outbreak of World War II, and Diana's letters from Holloway Prison. / This publication will be a major literay event. Widespread media coverage guaranteed.

About the Author

The editor, Charlotte Mosley, Diana Mitford's daughter-in-law, has worked as a publisher and journalist. She has published 'A Talent to Annoy: Essays, Articles and Reviews' by Nancy Mitford (1986), 'Love From Nancy: The Letters of Nancy Mitford' (1993) and 'The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh' (1996).


The lost art of letter writing is splendidly portrayed in this massive volume of correspondence among the six Mitford sisters: Nancy, Pamela, Diana, Unity, Jessica, and Deborah. As editor Mosley, Diana's daughter-in-law, explains, "the sisters' enduring reputation owes much to their originality, forceful opinions, and good looks." Mosley drew from a vast archive of some 12,000 letters held by Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire, the sole surviving sister. The letters she chose-most never before published-emphasize the relationships between and among the sisters. Arranged chronologically covering the years 1925-2002, they include footnotes identifying people, places, and activities. In introductions to each of the nine sections of letters, Mosley provides a synopsis of the major events in each sister's life as well as thoughtful commentary and analysis. As Mosley contends and the letters confirm, "the sisters wrote to each other to confide, commiserate, tease, rage and gossip but above all they wrote to amuse." Since four of them were published authors with international best sellers, it is not surprising that their letters are clever and humorous; but they are also poignant and revealing. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries. [For a profile of this book, see "Editors' Fall Picks," p. 32-38; see also Prepub Alert, LJ 7/07.]-Kathryn R. Bartelt, Univ. of Evansville Libs., IN Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

'A novelist would never get away with inventing this: a correspondence spanning eight decades, written from locations including Chatsworth and Holloway Prison, between six original and talented women who numbered among their friends Evelyn Waugh, Maya Angelou, J. F. Kennedy and Adolf Hitler. The story of the extraordinary Mitford sisters has never been told as well as they tell it themselves.' J. K. Rowling 'Hugely entertaining!This book is funny, sad, outrageous and impeccably edited, and despite its enormous length, it never flags for a moment.' Mail on Sunday. *****

The six notorious and passionately opinionated daughters of the second Baron Redesdale knew many key figures of the 20th century, from Hitler and Churchill to Evelyn Waugh and Lucian Freud. The sisters wrote some 12,000 letters to each other over a span of 80 years-the last was a fax sent in 2003 by 83-year-old Deborah to the dying 93-year-old Diana-and 5% are included here. The turbulent years before and during WWII produced the most noteworthy correspondence: Jessica scandalized her family by running away with her Communist cousin, and Diana divorced a Guinness heir to marry British fascist leader Oswald Mosley. Anti-Semitic Unity gushes like a schoolgirl over Hitler and tells Jessica that she wouldn't hesitate to kill Jessica's Communist husband for Nazism-but in the meanwhile she hopes they can be friends. Nancy writes cheerily to the imprisoned Diana after secretly testifying against her during the war. In later years, Jessica irritated her sisters from her home in America and broke completely with Diana over political differences. Peppered with colorful nicknames, filled with love, encouragement, jealousy and gossip, and written primarily to amuse the recipients, the letters testify to the bonds of sisterhood. Diana's daughter-in-law has diligently edited the mammoth correspondence, although readers will need to fill in the gaps with Mitford biographies and memoirs. B&w illus. (Nov. 6) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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