The Letters of Nancy Mitford by Charlotte Mosley (ed) - review by Jessica Mann

Jessica Mann

Down with Hons

The Letters of Nancy Mitford


Hodder & Stoughton 538pp £20 order from our bookshop

As long ago as 1960 the prescient Malcolm Muggeridge wrote: ‘To survive in the new climate of ostensible egalitarianism the upper class and the monarchy have to become a soap opera. The Mitfords have made a considerable contribution towards showing how this can be done.’

This ‘establishing episode’ was Nancy Mitford’s semi-autobiographical novel The Pursuit of Love, which appeared to great acclaim in 1945. Rather later it was followed by her sisters’ and other participants’ non-fiction versions of the same events. The story described Nancy’s own childhood in light disguise: Uncle Matthew (Farve), Aunt Sadie

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