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Nancy Mitford


The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh
This excerpt from The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh, edited by Charlotte Mosley, provides background information on Mitford and Waugh's activities during the war years and 10 letters written between May 1944 and January 1945. Link to the book review that was published in The New York Times on May 4, 1997.

Yahoo! Groups: Nancy Mitford
Share your thoughts on Nancy Mitford's life and works with other Mitford enthusiasts at this Yahoo! Group bulletin board.

Nancy Mitford's Obituary
Nancy Mitford passed away at the age of 68 on June 30, 1973, at her home in Versailles, France. Perhaps best known for her semi-autobiographical novels, Mitford also penned respected biographies of Madame de Pompadour, Louis XIV, and Frederick the Great, among others. Read her obituary from The New York Times.

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Love in a Cold Climate

BBC Learning: The Bookcase: Love in a Cold Climate
This interactive resource from BBC Learning features a literary guide to The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate: the social setting, based on interviews with Mitford biographers and historians, covers the dynamics of the Mitford family, their relationships and education, as well as the British aristocracy of the 1920s and 1930s and how the class was affected by politics and war; a character tree; a section about the television adaptation, featuring cast and location information, profiles of the actors, and interviews with the crew; and the Mitfords, a biographical essay on Nancy Mitford and the Mitford family, and a family tree (including all six sisters and their brother).

Bold Type: Excerpt by Nancy Mitford
Bold Type, Random House's online literary magazine, presents excerpts from Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate.

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The Mitford Family

Jessica Mitford: Burying Those Who Bury Us
Less than a month before her death, Jessica Mitford spoke with the San Francisco Chronicle about her book The American Way of Death, an expose of the funeral industry, and her thoughts on Communism today.

Jessica Mitford Memorial Site
The memorial site for Jessica Mitford (nicknamed Decca) includes a photo gallery, a collection of articles and obituaries, information about her recording career, and an account of her "last request." The section entitled Morticians provides a glimpse at the funeral industry's reaction to her crusade against the American death industry, and under the Guests heading you'll find tributes from her acquaintances and researchers.

Decca
The Albion Monitor presents this feature on Jessica "Decca" Mitford. The two shorter essays, "A Queen with no Apparent Heir" and "There is a Moral to it All," respectively discuss the lack of modern muckrakers and Decca's "midlife reappraisal" in terms of a Levinsonian analysis. The longer biographical essay, "Decca," includes inline links to many other articles and essays related to Decca and her family.

Morally Handicapped, by Brooke Allen
Diana Mitford's life and loves -- Sir Oswald Mosley and fascism -- are well-summarized in Brooke Allen's review of Jan Dalley's biography Diana Mosley. The article appeared in the April 2000 edition of The New Criterion, a monthly review of the arts and intellectual life.

Unity and Diana: Handmaidens of the Reich
Unity was conceived near Swastika, Ontario before the word had political connotations, and grew to be Hitler's great friend and confidante. Diana was a family outcast, a divorceé who married her lover, Oswald Mosley, the leader of the British Union of Fascists, in Goebbel's house. Staunch supporters of the Nazi party, the declaration of war would have dramatic consequences for the two English sisters -- especially for Unity. In this essay from The Albion Monitor, their sister Jessica, whose own political views were the polemic opposite of fascism, shares some bittersweet memories of the sisters' rivalry yet fondness for each other.

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British Society

The End of High Society
After the sun set on the British Empire, it trained its light closer to home: on British high society. What began as a relaxation of rules became the end of the aristocracy. From Masterpiece Theatre Online.

History of England, The 20th Century
Acquaint yourself with the society and times that influenced the Mitford girls through England: A Narrative History by Peter N. Williams. "Part 8: England in the 20th Century" begins just after World War I.

Debrett's -- Over Two Centuries of British Tradition
A well-recognized and respected authority on the British way of life, Debrett's offers links to modern etiquette tips, the correct forms of addressing royals, an extensive section on royal connections featuring biographic profiles, a tour of royal Britain, and a complete list of those stores and businesses approved by the Crown. Planning a trip to the UK? See which hotels and restaurants Debrett's recommends, and check the events calendar by season. Many other services are subscription-based.

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Bibliography


Mitford, Nancy. A Talent to Annoy: Essays, Articles, and Reviews, 1929-1968. Ed. Charlotte Mosley. London: H. Hamilton, 1986.

---. The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh. Ed. Charlotte Mosley. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1996.
The correspondence of the English socialite and the English satirist shows their talent for insult, caricature and disguised affection.

---. Love from Nancy: The Letters of Nancy Mitford. Ed. Charlotte Mosley. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1993.

---. Noblesse Oblige: An Enquiry into the Identifiable Characteristics of the English Aristocracy. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1974.

---. The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate: Two Novels. New York: Vintage Books, 2001.

Mitford, Jessica. The American Way of Death Revisited. New York: Vintage Books, 2000.

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About Nancy Mitford


Acton, Harold Mario Mitchell. Nancy Mitford: A Memoir. New York: Harper & Row, 1975.

Hastings, Selina. Nancy Mitford: A Biography. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1986.

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About The Mitford Family


Dalley, Jan. Diana Mosley. New York: Knopf, 2000.

Guinness, Jonathan. The House of Mitford. New York: Viking, 1985.

Lovell, Mary. The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family. New York: Norton, 2002.

Murphy, Sophia. The Mitford Family Album. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1985.

Pryce-Jones, David. Unity Mitford: A Quest. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1976.


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