The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters

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The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters
First edition
AuthorCharlotte Mosley (editor)
Deborah Mitford
Diana Mitford
Jessica Mitford
Nancy Mitford
Unity Mitford
Pamela Mitford
CountryUnited Kingdom
Publication date
Media typeHardback and paperback

The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters is a 2007 book of selected letters between the Mitford sisters. The book was edited by Diana Mitford's daughter-in-law, Charlotte Mosley. An estimated five percent of letters between the six sisters were included in the 834 page publication. The book was published by HarperCollins.


Carefree, revelatory and intimate, this selection of unpublished letters between the legendary Mitford sisters dances with wit, passion and heartbreak. The letters not only chronicle the idiosyncrasies of the twentieth century, but chart the stormy relationship between six uniquely gifted women. There's Nancy, the scalding wit and best selling novelist; Pamela, who craved a quiet country life; Diana, the fascist jailed during the Second World War; Unity, whose obsession with Hitler led to her demise, Jessica, the runaway communist; and Deborah, the socialite who became Duchess of Devonshire.


The book was well received both critically and commercially. In particular previously held perceptions were challenged. India Knight wrote in the Sunday Times; "we didn’t really know them especially well, it turns out. Jessica was not that good; Diana briefly sinister but also clever, kind, fatally loyal to her Blackshirt husband, Oswald Mosley, and so on."[1] The book was serialized by The Washington Post.[2]


"Although the Mitfords’ letters refer to some world-shaking events, their irresistible appeal comes from the way they invite us into the closed family circle. This volume is so overflowing with nicknames and private jokes that it resembles a glittering novel about privileged sophisticates." Caryn James, The New York Times [3]

"Even as talented families go, the Mitford sisters are remarkable — the most brilliant pride of literary lionesses to have emerged in England since the Brontes, who also had little or no formal education. Four of the sisters were published writers of wit and substance, and, as this collection of their letters to one another demonstrates, all six could write evocatively, even hauntingly." Mindy Aloff, The Washington Post [4]

"Brilliantly edited ... 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[1]

"A magnificent celebration of eighty years of sisterhood ...Unputdownable" Hugo Vickers, Country Life

"Thrilling and moving, funny and serious ... a story of a family, of loyalty, love, humour, tragedy and at times of chilling deception, a tale that sometimes amuses and horrifies, but always fascinates ... Through six different perspectives, the reality of these women's lives, in contradition to the often held-image of indulgent upper-class charmers, is brilliantly conveyed ... A luminous correspondence" Juliet Nicholson, Daily Telegraph[5]

"Funny, sad, outrageous and impeccably edited ... it never flags for a moment" Jeremy Lewis, Mail On Sunday[6]

"Mosley ... shows that the enduring fascination of this family comes not only from the larks and the society names but from the fact that the big current of the twentieth century – fascism and communism, wars and death washed through their lives" Jan Dalley, Financial Times


The book is divided into nine chapters according to a specific time period. Each chapter is contextualized by the editor.

  • Chapter 1 (1925–1933)
  • Chapter 2 (1933–1939)
  • Chapter 3 (1939–1945)
  • Chapter 4 (1945–1949)
  • Chapter 5 (1950–1959)
  • Chapter 6 (1960–1966)
  • Chapter 7 (1967–1973)
  • Chapter 8 (1974–1994)
  • Chapter 9 (1995–2003)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Knight, India (2 September 2007). "REVIEW: The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters". London: The Sunday Times. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  2. ^ "The Mitfords Letters Between Six Sisters". The Washington Post. 25 January 2008. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  3. ^ James, Caryn (2 December 2007). "'Heil Hitler! Love, Bobo' (book review)". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  4. ^ "The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters (book review)". The Washington Post. 2007.
  5. ^ "The Mitfords were sisters of no mercy". London: The Telegraph. 13 September 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  6. ^ "The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters". The Oldie. 2007.