The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family

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W. W. Norton & Company, Jun 13, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 640 pages

"Fascinating, the way all great family stories are fascinating."—Robert Gottlieb, New York Times Book Review

This is the story of a close, loving family splintered by the violent ideologies of Europe between the world wars. Jessica was a Communist; Debo became the Duchess of Devonshire; Nancy was one of the best-selling novelists of her day; beautiful Diana married the Fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley; and Unity, a close friend of Hitler, shot herself in the head when England and Germany declared war.

The Mitfords had style and presence and were mercilessly gifted. Above all, they were funny—hilariously and mercilessly so. In this wise, evenhanded, and generous book, Mary Lovell captures the vitality and drama of a family that took the twentieth century by storm and became, in some respects, its victims.
 

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THE SISTERS: The Saga of the Mitford Girls

User Review  - Kirkus

In prose so light that sentences nearly float up from the page, Lovell (A Rage to Live, 1998, etc.) chases the Mitford sisters (Nancy, Pamela, Diana, Unity, Jessica, and Deborah) hither and yon, from ... Read full review

The sisters: the saga of the Mitford family

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Lovell's biography of the Mitford sisters illustrates "the complex loyalties and love, disloyalties and even hate, and above all the laughter that ran through this family's relationships." Lovell (A ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Introduction
1
VICTORIAN ROOTS 18941904
9
EDWARDIAN AFTERNOON 190415
19
NURSERY DAYS 191522
39
ROARING TWENTIES 19229
63
BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS 192930
101
THE STAGE IS SET 193032
113
SLINGS AND ARROWS 19324
147
NO LAUGHING MATTER 1939
281
IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES 194041
305
GAINS AND LOSSES 19413
337
WOMEN AT WAR 19434
359
THE FRENCH LADY WRITER 19447
385
TRUTH AND CONSEQUENCES 194855
410
RETURN TO THE OLD COUNTRY 19558
428
A COLD WIND TO THE HEART 195866
457

UNITY AND THE FUHRER 19345
168
SECRET MARRIAGE 19357
192
ELOPEMENT 1937
217
FAMILY AT ODDS 19378
241
SLIDE TOWARDS CONFLICT 1938
262
VIEWS AND REVIEWS 196680
482
RELATIVELY CALM WATERS 19802000
506
Source Notes
530
Acknowledgements and Credits
577
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Mary S. Lovell's best-selling biographies include Straight on Till Morning (Beryl Markham) and The Sisters (the Mitford family). She lives in England.

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