Wednesday, April 6, 2011

More Mitfords

As if you couldn't already tell, I'm in the middle of a Mitford obsession and it's only gotten stronger after reading The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family. Essentially a group biography, it focuses on the six Mitford sisters- Nancy, Pam, Diana, Unity, Decca, and Debo- and spans the whole of the twentieth century, with all of the extraordinary events of their lives set against the historical and political backdrop of the times.

Nancy was the sister I had previously known the most about, but in a way she's one of the least interesting of the brood, as least as covered here. The others did notable and scandalous things like survive an attempted suicide, befriend Hitler, marry an English Duke, and runaway to America to work for the Communist party, join the Civil Rights movement, and become close friends with Maya Angelou- with all of the usual marriages, births, divorces, and affairs happening in between. The author covers an amazing amount of ground and goes into meticulous detail about her subjects, but manages to juggle everything and nimbly jump from sister to sister in a very engaging way. I know that the topic (and the hefty page count) may not make this a book for everyone, but I think I can say that it's the best biography I've ever read.

1 comment:

  1. Just stumbled across your blogs and had to comment. I, too, have a bit of a Mitford obsession. I read a biography a few years back and was completely enchanted. Their collective stories add up to the kind of novel that would be described as too fantastical!

    The one last living sister Debo lives at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, England which is near where my parents live. I love spending Sunday afternoons there and trying to catch a glimpse of her!



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