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helenoftroy

Diana Mosley: A Life

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I read this book a while ago after finding it in the library. It's a really fascinating read. It charts the life of Diana Mitford (later Mosley), one of the six famous (or infamous) Mitford sisters, including her friendship with Hitler and her marriage to the Fascist leader Oswald Mosley. I knew of her before I read the book, and knew a reasonable about Oswald Mosley, and indeed the friendship of Diana and her sister Unity to Hitler, but I still felt I gained an aweful lot from this book. It manages to be objective well, and tells a lot about the less well known periods of her life. Dalley also provides good background, she tells us about the Mitford family and some of their history, and also gives us indepth detail about Oswald Mosley and his campaign, in fact at some points it seems to be more about him than her.

 

The book was written after talks with Diana herself, and I believe she did not want it to be published before her death. I would recommend it to any one who wants to know more about the period, and particularly Diana.

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I'll look out for this one - I have a bit of a strange fascination with the Mitfords, after reading the Mary S Lovell biography and watching the recent C4 documentary about Unity. I'd also like to read the recently published letters of the sisters, and also - maybe my preference - the letters of Debo and Patrick Leigh Fermor, which are just out in hardback.

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I enjoyed the letters but had the feeling there was a bit of barrel scraping going on, some of them were frankly not very interesting and there were lots of somewhat self-pitying and self-justifying ones from Diana to Debo.

 

Nancy Mitford's letters with Evelyn Waugh are an absolute joy to read, interesting and entertaining, it doesn't matter if you don't know whom they're writing about because the letters are such a good read.

 

Jessica Mitford's letters are riveting - she was the one who eloped, then moved to America, became a communist, was hauled up in front of McCarthy, worked for civil rights and almost by accident became a bestselling journalist, her biggest success was her exposé of the American funeral industry An American Way of Death. I think I started a thread on them but I'd reccomend them highly.

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I'm exactly the same, Minxminnie, I have a bit of a fascination with them as well. They're just such an interesting family, I personally would like to know more about Tom as well, who apparently was very close to Diana. I'd love to read their letters, particularly those of Nancy and Evelyn Waugh. Such a witty bunch.

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