originalisa Reply to on 21 October 2015
|There are no surviving Mitford sisters, the last, the youngest, Deborah (Deborah Devonshire) having passed away in 2014. What a diverse family they were, Unity, rebellious and keen to shock, a close friend of Hitler, Jessica a socialist and one time active member of the American Communist party, Deborah, Conservative and married to Andrew Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth House, Diana married fascist leader Oswald Mosley, Pamela, first marriage to Bryan Guinness, second to physicist Professor Derek Jackson and Nancy, prolific writer, flirted with socialism and fascism before becoming a Gaullist and ardent Francophile. They all had several pet names for one another, here are just a few: Unity: Bobo, Boudle. Deborah: Debo, Hen. Jessica: Decca, Boud. Nancy: Dame, Soo, Naunce(ling). Pamela: Pam, Woo, Wooms Woman. Diana: Cord(uroy), Bodley.
The letters cover over 800 pages and it is a book you can dip into, reading various periods of history. The letters from Unity all bear the symbol of the swastika in this printed diary. An example from 29 March 1939 Unity to Diana: I had lunch with the Fuhrer on Sunday and Monday & he asked me to send you viele grusse [best wishes]. Both days he was in his sweetest mood particularly on Monday, he held my hand most of the time & looked sweet & said 'Kind [child]!' in his sympathetic way because he was so sorry about England and Germany being such enemies. However he said nothing but wonderful things about England...' There are many letters going into detail about meetings with Hitler and other high ranking people by Unity and Diana.
Interestingly, and given all the speculation that has existed concerning Unity Mitford shooting herself in the head: Letter dated 10 May 1941 Unity to Jessica, '...so I can explain it to you. You know I got shot in the head. . . ' Unity would never lie to her sisters so here she is stating that she was shot, not that she shot herself.
A very absorbing read all the way through, eye-opening in many places.