- Taschenbuch: 830 Seiten
- Verlag: Harpercollins Publishers; Auflage: UK ed. (5. Mai 2008)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1841157740
- ISBN-13: 978-1841157740
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13 x 4,8 x 19,7 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 103.951 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
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The Mitfords: Letters between Six Sisters: Letters Between Six Sisters (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 5. Mai 2008
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`A novelist would never get away with inventing this: a correspondence spanning eight decades, written from locations including Chatsworth and Holloway Prison, between six original and talented women who numbered among their friends Evelyn Waugh, Maya Angelou, J. F. Kennedy and Adolf Hitler.' J. K. Rowling `A glorious portrait of a six-way, life-enhancing, lifelong conversation.' Sunday Times 'The Mitfords are all competitively exasperating...but slowly, cumulatively, as age and death are stared gallantly in the eye, I ended in tears.' Guardian `Absorbing, funny and often very moving...a remarkable story of six remarkable personalities.' Philip Hensher, Spectator `Here, for the first time, are the six women's own voices booming out from the tomb and across the decades...telling their extraordinary stories, which...is also the story of the twentieth century, told from the front row.' India Knight, Sunday Times `Brilliantly entertaining...and a profoundly moving experience.' Sunday Telegraph 'An anthropologist's treasure...Every sister, whether a professional writer or not, has an extraordinary natural talent for narrative: for observation, reflection, jokes, dialogue and description, and deploys it with unfailing energy.' The Times '"The Mitfords" is a thrilling and moving, funny and serious book. Here is a story of a family, of loyalty, love, humour, tragedy and, at times, chilling deception, a tale that sometimes amuses and horrifies, but always fascinates.' Daily Telegraph `The roars and shrieks, the jokes and the teases bounce across every page of this hugely enjoyable book.' Evening Standard `The enduring fascination of this family comes not only from the larks and the society names but from the fact that the big currents of the twentieth century - fascism and communism, wars and death - washed through their lives.' Financial Times `Funny, sad, outrageous and impeccably edited...it never flags for a moment.' Mail on Sunday
The never-before published letters of the legendary Mitford sisters, alive with wit, affection, tragedy and gossip: a charismatic history of the century's signal events played out in the lives of a controversial and uniquely gifted family. Nancy, the scalding wit who parlayed her family life into bestselling novels. Diana, the fascist jailed with her husband, Oswald Mosley, during WWII. Unity, a suicide, torn by her worship of Hitler and her loyalty to home. Debo, who adored pleasure and fun, and found herself Duchess of Devonshire. Pamela, who craved nothing more than a quiet country life. Jessica, the runaway, a communist and fighter for social change. The Mitfords became myth in their own time: the great wits and beauties of their age, they were immoderate in their passions for ideas and people. Virtually spanning the century, these letters between the sisters -- alternately touching and explosive -- constitute a superb social chronicle, and explore with disarming intimacy their shifting relationships. As editor Charlotte Mosley notes, not since the Brontes has a single family written so much about themselves, or been so written about.Their letters are widely recognized to contain the best of their writing.Mosley, Diana's niece, will select from an archive of 18,000, to which she has exclusive access. Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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Thank heaven for the age of letter-writing. Will there ever be an epistolary blockbuster of nearly 900 pages written fifty years now about communications between creative talents or family members taking place today? How? THE MITFORDS: LETTERS BETWEEN SIX SISTERS is not only an immense achievement, it's eminently readable not only for the respective sisters' courses in life, but for their pained, sometimes frustrated, attempt to stay on each others' wavelengths after leaving home. As are so many books, this one is a product of the great wave of "Mitfordiana" that began in the 1970s and to some extent continues even today. Confirmed Mitford-ites must have this book; others may want to invest in it once they start to comprehend how influential -- and funny -- these six "girls" could be. Individually, they were imposing. Together, they changed Interwar England.
Nancy, the eldest, was a novelist and biographer. Diana and Unity are always described (rightfully) as "unrepentant Hitler apologists", while Jessica is inevitably portrayed (just as correctly) as "Left wing" or worse. Deborah, the youngest, married a Duke and became chatelaine of one of the grandest English country houses. Pamela was second oldest and quietest, enjoying a rural life surrounded by animals.
There are many hundreds of letters in this huge collection, which Charlotte Mosley (granddaughter-in-law of Diana) indicates was winnowed down from untold thousands. The letters are interesting for several reasons. Since the Mitford girls knew an enormous number and variety of people the letters are filled with references to various social, political, and literary lions (thoughtfully identified in helpful footnotes after each letter). Unity and Diana's obsession with Hitler makes their letters particularly fascinating, if disturbing, when they fondly mention "the dear old Fuhrer" and other Nazi leaders. (One wonders if Charlotte Mosley intentionally left out some even more hateful comments the two must have made during the 1930s). On a lighter note, the letters are often witty and hysterically funny, particularly those from Nancy and Jessica. My favorite line comes from one of Nancy's letters, assuring an acquaintance that "People Like Us are never killed in earthquakes, only 29 people died, all non-U." Most of all, these letters make wonderful reading because they provide a chronicle of a family over seventy years or so. The Mitford sisters married, divorced, had affairs, lost husbands/brothers/friends during the war and afterward, gave birth to children, some of whom died, dealt with their aging parents' illnesses and deaths, and then grew old and ill themselves. I particularly felt for Nancy, who suffered miserably from cancer for four years, and for her sisters who took enormous trouble to visit and help her as much as they could. I longed for Diana and Jessica to make up their quarrel, which meant they rarely corresponded after 1940, and was glad when they finally exchanged a letter or two in the 1970s. Unity and Diana always troubled me, and they do even more after I read their letters: how could people that bright, fun, and artistic have become Fascists? Pam always was and remains the most unknown of the sisters, evidently a bit on the slow side and often made fun of (but still loved by) her sisters, while Deborah had the thankless task of remaining the one sibling who stayed on everyone's good side and thus had to help relay messages and settle family quarrels. How fitting, but how sad that she is the only sister still living, and that she was the one who preserved so many of the letters.
It can be arduous to read through too many of the letters at one time because they are full of arch nicknames: Woman, Boud, Honks, Debo, Decca, Lady, to give just a few, and just as replete with references to huge numbers of famous and infamous people. But the footnotes help, and in small doses the letters make you smile, cry, and thoughtful simultaneously or in rapid succession.