India Knight: The Mitfords, 3 January 2002
Show More The Mitford Girls: The Biography of an Extraordinary Family by Mary Lovell.
Little, Brown, 611 pp., £20, September 2001, 0 316 85868 4Show More
Nancy Mitford: A Memoir by Harold Acton.
Gibson Square, 256 pp., £16.99, September 2001, 1 903933 01 3Show More
“... Either you love the jokes or you don’t, with the Mitfords. The biting, ferocious ‘teases’, the flippancy, the apparent inability to take anything particularly seriously, are everything, not least because they encapsulate all that used to be good about Englishness, and all that is grotesque also. The jokes, always cruel, both charm and repel; without them, you’re left with girls in pearls living borderline tragic lives, or with the po-faced, lumpen Unity Mitford – galumph, galumph – who, unlike her five sisters (in descending order: Nancy, Pam, Diana, Unity, Decca, Debo; there was also a brother, Tom), had little talent for levity ...”