Author Topic: The Mitfords  (Read 24819 times)

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Offline Janet_W.

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Re: The Mitfords
« Reply #30 on: April 09, 2007, 05:50:17 PM »
I rather think Jessica Mitford's comments about embalming were meant to be humorous. If you read "The American Way of Death" you will find she was highly critical of the funeral industry and the rituals it encourages in pursuit of the Almighty Dollar.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: The Mitfords
« Reply #31 on: April 09, 2007, 05:55:40 PM »
Diana





They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: The Mitfords
« Reply #32 on: April 09, 2007, 06:11:43 PM »
Jessica’s books:
Hons and Rebels (1960, memoir)
The American Way of Death (1963, nonfiction)
The Trial of Dr. Spock (1969, nonfiction)
Kind and Usual Punishment: The Prison Business (1973, nonfiction)
A Fine Old Conflict (1977, memoir)
The Making of a Muckraker (1979)
Poison Penmanship: The Art of Muckraking (1979)
Grace Had an English Heart (1988)
The American Way of Birth (1992, nonfiction)
The American Way of Death Revisited (1998)

Nancy’s books
Highland Fling (1931)
Christmas Pudding (1932)
Wigs on the Green (1935)
Pigeon Pie (1940)
The Pursuit of Love (1945, novel)
Love in a Cold Climate (1949, novel)
The Blessing (1951, novel)
Madame de Pompadour (1954, biography)
Noblesse Oblige: An Enquiry into the Identifiable Characteristics of the English Aristocracy (1956, essays)
Voltaire in Love (1957, biography)
Don't Tell Alfred (1960, novel)
The Water Beetle (1962)
The Sun King (1966, biography)
Frederick the Great (1970, biography)
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: The Mitfords
« Reply #33 on: April 09, 2007, 06:27:44 PM »
Books about the family:

The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family by Mary S. Lovell
The House of Mitford by Jonathan Guinness
Nancy Mitford by Harold Acton
Nancy Mitford (A William Abrahams Book) by Selina Hastings
Diana Mosley: Mitford Beauty, British Fascist, Hitler's Angel by Anne de Courcy
Unity Mitford: An enquiry into her life and the frivolity of evil by David Pryce-Jones
Life in a Cold Climate: Nancy Mitford - A Portrait of a Contradictory Woman by Laura Thompson

Memoirs and Letters:

Hons and Rebels (New York Review Books Classics) by Jessica Mitford
A Fine Old Conflict by Jessica Mitford
Loved Ones: Pen Portraits by Diana Mosley
A Life of Contrasts: The Autobiography of Diana Mitford Mosley by Diana Mitford Mosley
Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford by Jessica Mitford
Love from Nancy: The Letters of Nancy Mitford by Nancy Mitford
The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh by Nancy Mitford
The Bookshop At 10 Curzon Street: Letters Between Nancy Mitford and Heywood Hill 195273 by Nancy Mitford
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: The Mitfords
« Reply #34 on: April 09, 2007, 06:40:40 PM »
Diana

with Oswald





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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: The Mitfords
« Reply #35 on: April 09, 2007, 06:53:05 PM »
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Offline ashdean

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Re: The Mitfords
« Reply #36 on: April 10, 2007, 06:36:33 AM »
Deb







The late Andrew and  Deborah (now Dowager) Devonshire are amongst the greatest aristocrats to ever grace the pages of Debretts peerage.No one who has met them could under estimate their decency and sense of noblese oblige...

Offline Eddie_uk

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Re: The Mitfords
« Reply #37 on: April 11, 2007, 01:24:09 AM »
Diana

with Oswald


I love this picture - one of my favourites! They look so much in love.
Grief is the price we pay for love.

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Offline basilforever

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Re: The Mitfords
« Reply #38 on: April 11, 2007, 10:07:34 AM »
So you have met Deborah and the late Duke of Devonshire Ashdean? What were they like?

I have to say Diana is the worst I think. She had a horrible scary look. I really don't care if she and Oswald were in love - they were both evil fascists.

I never looked at pictures much of them before - I have to say they are not as spectacularly beautiful as I had imagined. Far from it. Diana and Unity were the only ones who were beauties and that was more than cancelled out by their hideousness in other areas.

Before my detailed reading of this thread I hadn't heard of most of them - Only discussed Nancy because of her biography of Louis XIV at university. But they are indeed fascinating. They are made out to be so aristocratic - but really they weren't. They were just the daughter of a Baron - who was only the second Baron! And it is wrong of course to refer to them as Lady Diana or Lady Unity, etc. they did not have this status.

The Dowager Duchess of Devonshire appears to be the best of them, seeming as I have heard so little about Pamela she can barely be included.

Diana seems hideously vain - writing something like - "It was not the ideal situation to be in prison, but it was still lovely to wake up in the morning, knowing that one was a lovely one." What a stupid thing to write down!

I like Debo the best. But I have to say Unity is very fascinating. A great movie could be made just about her. Are there any movies about them? I really like the name Unity.

I was a bit surprised to see all this in the Windsors forum. As they aren't Royalty, and never had much to do with any Royals, well I think one of them knew the Duchess of Windsor.  ::)

His Royal Highness Prince Albert Victor Christian Edward of Wales, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, Earl of Athlone, Knight of The Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight of The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick

Offline RichC

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Re: The Mitfords
« Reply #39 on: April 11, 2007, 02:00:47 PM »

I like Debo the best. But I have to say Unity is very fascinating. A great movie could be made just about her. Are there any movies about them? I really like the name Unity.

I was a bit surprised to see all this in the Windsors forum. As they aren't Royalty, and never had much to do with any Royals, well I think one of them knew the Duchess of Windsor.  ::)


According to the website http://albionmonitor.net/decca/sisters.html, Unity (with the middle name Valkyrie) was so named because she was born at the outbreak of World War I (August 8, 1914), a few days after Britain went to war with Germany.  "Unity" expressed the hope that they war would end peacefully.  I'm not sure about the Valkyrie part....

There is some interesting stuff about Unity's life after her suicide attempt here:

http://heritage.scotsman.com/places.cfm?id=446552005


I emailed the forum admins a long time ago about where to place this thread and they suggested the Windsor section as the closest.



« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 02:11:34 PM by RichC »

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: The Mitfords
« Reply #40 on: April 11, 2007, 04:25:10 PM »
Not exactly a movie but a miniseries.

I remember watching this in the 1980s . . . a reshowing apparently prompted the review.

February 11, 2002

TELEVISION REVIEW; Dramatizing Nancy Mitford's Eccentric Family
By CARYN JAMES

Readers devoted to Nancy Mitford's sparkling, acerbic novels will recognize a moment of sheer hilarity on ''Masterpiece Theater'' when Linda Radlett asks the nurse to take her newborn daughter from the room. ''Oh do take it away, darling. Poor thing must have caught sight of itself in the glass,'' our heroine Linda says of the howling, unattractive infant, to whom she has taken an instant dislike.

And anyone who does not know Mitford's fiction may wonder why she has such an adoring cult. Based on Mitford's best-known works, ''The Pursuit of Love'' and ''Love in a Cold Climate,'' this dramatization offers a tepidly charming vision of an upper-class English family in the 1930's. Weaving in and out of both novels, the film turns Mitford's biting social comedies into a breezily amusing but uninspired film. Alan Bates and Anthony Andrews give deliciously witty performances, yet the film lacks the wry tone that lets Mitford get away with the most caustic observations, and her characters remain likable despite much cold-blooded behavior.

As in the books, the narrator is Fanny, Linda's cousin and a frequent guest to the Radletts' country house, Alconleigh. The Radletts are based on the famously eccentric Mitfords. But the film spends so little time on their childhood that the eccentricities seem confusing instead of endearing. The opening credits show the father, Uncle Matthew, racing through the countryside as his hounds track not a fox but two of his little girls; child-hunting was a game the six Mitford girls enjoyed. Mr. Bates has some of the film's funniest scenes as the blustery Uncle Matthew, also known as Fa, who calls his daughters' suitors ''sewers'' but whose harsh demeanor masks a huge streak of emotion.

The story quickly focuses on Fanny and Linda's coming out into society. Fanny is the sensible one, who longs for a stable life to set her apart from her mother, who has left so many men in the dust she is known as the Bolter. Rosamund Pike captures all of Fanny's good-natured grace.

Linda is a great beauty and desperately romantic. She marries young and soon leaves her rich, dull husband and unloved daughter for a handsome Communist. Elisabeth Dermot-Walsh brings humanity to a character who might easily have been unsympathetic. Linda exudes sincerity as she stands in Hyde Park in a fur coat giving a Communist speech about workers.

Too much of the film, though, leaves ''The Pursuit of Love'' and the Radletts to focus on characters from ''Love in a Cold Climate.'' Fanny's friend Polly is colorless, and while her monstrously self-absorbed mother, Lady Montdore, can be outrageously funny, the characters work best in smaller doses than we get here. The exception is Mr. Andrews, who has all but disappeared from the American screen since his long-ago days as Sebastian in ''Brideshead Revisited.'' He gives a wickedly caricatured performance as Polly's uncle, an aging roué with waved hair, a penchant for groping young girls' knees under the dining table, and the increasingly inappropriate nickname Boy.

The fictional Linda combines elements of several infamous Mitfords. She is partly Diana, a renowned beauty now 91, who married the heir to the Guinness brewing fortune and left him for Sir Oswald Mosley, the British Fascist leader. It was Jessica who ran off with a Communist. (Unity Mitford has no role here; she fell in love with Hitler.)

And near the end of the story, as World War II approaches, Nancy Mitford borrows from her own life when Linda falls passionately in love with a handsome French duke, Fabrice de Sauveterre. Gaston Palewski, the great love of Nancy's life, was not a duke, but like Fabrice he was a Resistance fighter and a valued aide to Charles de Gaulle. For decades he loved Nancy, though not as much as he loved womanizing. Russell Baker's commentary after the final episode gives a peculiar gloss to this story. When Mitford died in 1973, he says, Palewski ''was at her bedside''; the coda doesn't mention that he had married another women a few years before.

Decades before that, Mitford had created a different bittersweet ending for Linda. With the story of Fabrice and Linda the film becomes unexpectedly moving, but too late. This ''Love in a Cold Climate'' is a lost opportunity; Nancy Mitford deserves to be known for more than her sisters' bad taste in men.

MASTERPIECE THEATER
Love in a Cold Climate

On most PBS stations tonight and
Feb. 18
(check local listings)

A BBC/WGBH Boston co-production; based on the novels ''The Pursuit of Love'' and ''Love in a Cold Climate'' by Nancy Mitford, and adapted by Deborah Moggach; producer, Kate Harwood; director, Tom Hooper; executive producers, Pippa Harris and Jane Tranter for the BBC and Rebecca Eaton for WGBH Boston.

WITH: Rosamund Pike (Fanny), Alan Bates (Uncle Matthew Radlett), Celia Imrie (Aunt Sadie), Elisabeth Dermot-Walsh (Linda), Megan Dodds (Polly), John Standing (Lord Montdore), Sheila Gish (Lady Montdore), Anthony Andrews (Boy Dougdale) and Daniel Evans (Cedric Hampton).

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: The Mitfords
« Reply #41 on: April 11, 2007, 04:39:12 PM »
Correction: After a bit of checking I realize that I saw the 1980 version which featured Judi Dench and that the review just posted was for the more recent version.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: The Mitfords
« Reply #42 on: April 11, 2007, 04:45:42 PM »

I was a bit surprised to see all this in the Windsors forum. As they aren't Royalty, and never had much to do with any Royals, well I think one of them knew the Duchess of Windsor.  ::)



Diana and Mosley were good friends of the Duke and Duchess when they were neighbors in Paris.

There is some leeway allowed in what is chosen as a thread. There is a whole section of the Forum on Russian Noble Families, as well as Servants and Friends (most all of whom are not royal) I think it's permissible to have an occasional thread on similar families in England or other countries.
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: The Mitfords
« Reply #43 on: May 21, 2007, 09:17:18 PM »
http://www.royal-magazin.de/england/devonshire/duchess-devonshire.htm

Shows Deborah Mitford, the current Duchess of Devonshire, with some of the historical Devonshire jewels.
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Offline emeraldeyes

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Re: The Mitfords
« Reply #44 on: May 23, 2007, 06:25:52 PM »
At an annual charity book market that was held recently, I was over the moon to have found a copy of Chatsworth - The House, and when I finally had a chance to sit down with it properly, I found a wonderful surprise - it was signed! 





Of course, I am not Bob or Claire, but for $5 I didn't feel like I should expect it to be the correct name.   :P

It has been a joy to thumb through the book, and it is very interesting reading. 

Also from the book, the full version of the photo featured on the royal-magazin site:



The caption to the photo:  "At our party at Chatsworth in July 2000, given to celebrate jointly the fifty years since Andrew succeeded to the dukedom and our eightieth birthdays, I wore Louise Duchess's dress, made by Worth, and her big tiara.  We bought the feathers for the headdress and the fan in Chesterfield."  Duchess Louise was the wife of the 8th duke.
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