Last of the Mitford Sisters Died

Fascinating person. She was the youngest of the sisters. Her older sisters included Unity the Hitler groupie and Jessica the celebrated muckraker. She would not have been duchess at all had her husband’s older brother not died in WWII. He was married to one of the Kennedy sisters. I read one of her books a few years ago and greatly enjoyed it.

I didn’t realize any of the sisters were still alive.

As a teenager I was fascinated by Nancy Mitford’s list of U and non U words. I thought I would live in England one day and would need to know how to speak. I realize now that it wouldn’t matter what I said; all they would hear would be Chicago.

I listened to a story on NPR about her and her family. Interesting lives they led. Two of the sisters were fascists, one a communist. There was a recorded interview with the last surviving Mitford. She seemed like she’d be a blast to meet in real life.

Too bad the Last One was one of the most boring. OTOH, this is by Mitford standards and she really spoke her mind!

An end of an era.

amazing women. seems there is always a family of sisters that can turn up everywhere.

When she married she was concerned with the need to have somewhere to live where she could raise chickens. I have visited the garden of her last house, in Edensor* on the Chatsworth estate. She had many chickens there.

pronounced “Ensor”.

I was sad when I saw this on the news; it really seems like the end of an era. The whole family, so bizarre and so entangled with everyone who was anyone in the first half of the 20th century.

A few years ago, I enjoyed In Tearing Haste: Letters between Deborah Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor, although Fermor is the better writer (or at least the more involved writer), Debo is an absolute pip.

More glamorous pictures of her in her youth will come up in a google image search, but I love this one, because she was such a country person:

Absolutely so: Deborah, though very-relatively the most staid and “normal” of the bunch, was in her own right quite a card, with much capacity to surprise. For instance: she was, of all unlikely things, a tremendous fan of Elvis Presley and Elvis-impersonator competitions – an enthusiasm which she came to in her sixties, after the star’s death.