A Life of Contrasts

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A Life of Contrasts
Diana Mitford.jpg
Author Diana Mitford
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Autobiography
Publisher (UK) Hamish Hamilton, (US) Times Books
Publication date
1977 and 2002
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 296
ISBN ISBN 1-903933-20-X
OCLC 59464623
Followed by 'The Duchess of Windsor'

A Life of Contrasts is an international bestseller by Diana Mitford (sister of novelist Nancy Mitford, journalist Jessica Mitford, and memoirist Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire) that was first published by Hamish Hamilton in 1977. She later released a revised edition of the book that was published in 2002 by Gibson Square.[1]

Synopsis[edit]

In the autobiography, the British aristocrat recounts her colourful past, including her marriage to Sir Oswald Mosley, founder of the British Union of Fascists, her association with Nazi figures and her subsequent three-year internment under Defence Regulation 18B.[2][3] She also recounts her friendships with leading literary figures Evelyn Waugh, Harold Acton, John Betjeman and Lytton Strachey.[4]

2002 edition[edit]

In the 2002 edition, Mitford describes several events which occurred following the original 1977 publication. Such as the grief she experienced after her husband's death, her brain tumour as well as her reaction to international events and public figures. She also writes about her "secret" missions to Germany before war broke out, when she helped set up a radio station to raise funds for the BUF.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

The book was well received by critics, who were impressed by Mitford's writing talents, although some were not satisfied that she gave a convincing explanation of her controversial political views.[5]

Reviews[edit]

"Fragrant.." The Times[5]

"A Life of Contrasts is a candid, page-turning memoir." Mary S. Lovell[this quote needs a citation]q

"a rare treat." Selina Hastings[this quote needs a citation]

"engrossing...If you actually want to know about Diana Mosley, read this book." Evening Standard[4]

Contents[edit]

The book also includes a selection of black and white photographs.

(original edition)

  • 1. Grandfathers and Grandmother (1)
  • 2. "...She Can't Live Long" (6)
  • 3. Batsford (12)
  • 4. Asthall (22)
  • 5. Paris (44)
  • 6. Swinbrook (55)
  • 7. Bailiffscourt (61)
  • 8. Buckingham Street (70)
  • 9. Cheyne Walk (86)
  • 10. Mosley (94)
  • 11. Munich and Rome (106)
  • 12. Hitler (116)
  • 13. Accident (129)
  • 14. Wooton (136)
  • 15. Berlin (147)
  • 16. War (157)
  • 17. Prison (169)
  • 18. Crux Easton (199)
  • 19. Crowood (210)
  • 20. ALIANORA (218)
  • 21. Le Temple De La Gloire (230)
  • 22. Clonfert (235)
  • 23. Venice and Paris (244)
  • 24. Inch Kenneth and London (254)
  • 25. The Windsors (264)
  • 26. The Antagonists (268)
  • 27. A Vale of Tears (273)
  • 28. Laughter and the Love of Friends (282)

Index (289)

References[edit]

  1. ^ The other lady diana The Scotsman. 25 April 2002
  2. ^ "The two faces of Diana Mosley the indestructible". The Independent. 17 August 2003. 
  3. ^ "Diana Mitford". Spartacus. 
  4. ^ a b c A Life of Contrasts Evening Standard. 22 April 2002
  5. ^ a b "OBITUARY: The Hon Lady Mosley". London: The Times. August 13, 2003.