An engaging and inviting writing style and a chance to look in on a class of society and its travails in a world of change. i enjoyed reading of famous contemporaries, and the realities of keeping up estates.
Enjoyable read. Lots of name-dropping, but then the Duchess DID run in those celebrity circles. Royals right and left, politicians up and down. Sometimes her life seems like a circus.
On the other hand, perhaps it was a circus! What a random bunch of disparate siblings she had! Fun to learn about.
Sorry to hear of her passing as we'll not see her type again.
The Duchess of Devonshire chronicles her remarkable life, including her eccentric childhood in the English countryside (those Mitford sisters!), her brush with Adolf Hitler, her marriage to the Duke of Devonshire, and her long-standing friendship with the Kennedy family. As Duchess of Devonshire, “Debo” played an active role in restoring and overseeing the day-to-day running of the family houses and gardens, and in developing commercial enterprises at Chatsworth. She tells poignantly of the deaths of three of her children, as well as her husband's battle with alcohol addiction.
I've been fascinated by the Mitford sisters for ages, so was interested in reading this autobiography by Deborah, the youngest sister.
It was interesting to read about her life from the 1920s through now - especially through WWII and following her husband's ascension to Duke of Devonshire. What I found fascinating was the dichotomy between how she talks about being financial strapped after WWII (which undoubtedly they were - facing estate taxes at 85%) and also talking about the hunting gatherings, coming of age parties and entertaining that were regular parts of their life. I guess it proves it's all about context. Interesting, almost throwaway, stories about famous, historic people were also a highlight of the book.
All in all, a good read.
Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire, became a member of the English nobility following the tragic death of her brother-in-law Billie Hartington who had married Kathleen (kick) Kennedy. Consequently, Deborah's husband Andrew eventually inherited the title and all of the real estate and money that came with it. This book is a fascinating account of how this couple cleared the enormous death tax which was imposed on the family following the passing of Andrew's father. The book describes how they both grew to love Chatsworth, an amazing estate now lived in by the current Duke (Perigrine "Stoker" Cavendish) and his wife Amanda but also open to the public. Ms. Mitford also talks about her beloved sisters, two of whom found world renown as writers (Nancy and Diana). An interesting read if you enjoy biographies,particularly about the British nobility.
Deborah is the last of the beautiful, smart, vivacious, controversial Mitford sisters. Starting in the early1930s, Debo and her sisters were the toast of Europe. They met and knew everyone that mattered including Wallis Simpson, the Kennedy clan, author Evelyn Waugh, the Royal family and Adolf Hitler. Her marriage was fairy average, the second son of a Duke but then her brother-in-law (engaged to Kathleen Kennedy) had to go and die in the war, making her husband the Ducal heir. The stories are well written, categorized by topic more than in chronological order. Also, nothing too scandalous! Her tea with Adolf comes off as ho-hum (2 sisters were notorious Nazi sympathizers). The one surprise was her forgiveness of her sister, Unity, who was jailed as a traitor during the war and condemnation of the one sister, Nancy, who kept talking against her. It's a good, solid read and a fun way to spend an afternoon but for real scoop on the family read "The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family" by Mary S. Lovell.
Such an interesting life, spanning most of the 20th century with all its turmoil. Someone must have had to do an awful lot of editing to get all this information into a readable-length book, and whomever it was did a great job.
The youngest of the famous Mitford sisters, known as Debo, married Andrew Cavendish, has lived 90 years through all kinds of legendary events and known a who's who of people. She tells her story with grace and humor.
Some stories that were new to me in this memoir added to what I've read about her and her sisters through the years. Her world is fascinating to me.
she is a Mittford after all and they are all very interesting and once lived in a place, not all, but called Swistika. in Northern Ontario..It"s not Their fault! Enjoy!
outstanding book; easy to read and always entertaining.
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