2015: The House of Mitford

The House of Mitford, Jonathan Guinness -

One could question why I would chose to read a second* 500+ page book on the Mitford Girls, particularly one written by a Mitford child (Jonathan Guinness is Diana Mitford Mosely's son from her first marriage) - particularly one written by the son of the second worst Mitford (you know the one who loved Hitler and Facism, but not enough to put a bullet through her brain like Unity did).  I certainly questioned my choice, particularly when I was reading 200 pages about their grandparents, and also when it got terribly terribly Tory and awful.  I mean, I get that you aren't going to slam your own mother, but trying to act like Decca being a main-line Communist (and later rejecting the party) is the same as your mom being the wife of the British Union of Facists, and getting married at Goebbell's house is a bit rich.  

That having been said, the Mitfords are endlessly interesting and I would read a million books about them.  And the flip side of the apologia (which again, can't really apologize for being a pro-German Brit during the war. Can't apologize for loving Hitler.  On the straight up wrong side of history), is that there is all sorts of inside scoops and family psychodrama right there on the page.  You definitely read this with a hooked eyebrow, but you also realize that Guinness is giving away more than the is holding back.  I'd not recommend this as your first entree into the world of Mitfordania - that should be 1) Love in a Cold Climate, 2) Hons and Rebels, and 3) probably the Lovell book.  But if you are hooked by the Mitfords this is a fascinating additional angle on the family, coming from the inside.

*I read Mary Lovell's The Sisters, but can't find a link.  Here is a link to a Nancy Mitford post, though. 

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017