Poster by Adrienne Adamas, 1963, source

This year I seemed to have really got back in to reading (like actual books, not just blogs and the paper in the morning) I don't know what happened last year…maybe crafting took over and I was being all silly not making time for both but I started this year by reading Call the Midwife and Shadows of the Workhouse by Jennifer Worth which are the books to my current favourite TV series Call the Midwife (there is a third one too but I'm waiting till my mum has finished it before I can borrow it off her!) and I would highly recommend them, they give such a great insight in to life in East London back in the 50's and go in to soooooooo much more detail then the programme does!

The third book of the year that I am reading is Hons and Rebels by the communist Mitford sister, Jessica or Decca as they affectionately call her, which has been on my reading pile for quite a while. I first became completely fascinated by the Mitfords after reading Nancy Mitford by Harold Acton and then moving on to The Mitford Girls: The Biography of and Extraordinary Family by Mary S.Lovell which is a complete doorstop of a book but I read it so fast I felt like Johnny Five. 

I think its hard not to pick a favourite sister and the whole time Nancy's wit and involvement in the Bright Young Things sold me. That and no one really wants to like Diana and Unity because they liked Hitler, a lot….and Pam seemed to be the quietest of them all and not particularly that interesting. I don't really know too much about Debo to make an informed decision and Tom is the brother so he doesn't technically count so that leaves Nancy and Jessica and having read a book solely on Nancy she was immediately put on the pedestal.
In the previous Mitford books I had read, Jessica was kind of brushed over after she and her husband moved to America to live but after reading Hons and Rebels my eyes have been opened to another Mitford sister.
I really love Decca's writing style, there are some great quotes in the book that made me want to read them over and over;

"The Bible asserts glibly, 'When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish thing' - as though it were so simple, with never a word about the uneasy transition, the restless search for one's own personality, the longing, not only for independence, but for that particular kind of independence which one feels dimly will come with self-knowledge"

Jessica also wrote 'The American Way of Death' which analyses the American funeral practises and I really can't wait to read it. I'd also like to read Diana's autobiography and the Letters between Six Sisters written by Charlotte Mosley, Diana's daughter in-law.
And so my love the Mitford sisters carries on...

How about you, do you have a favourite Mitford sister?

I'm always on the look out for reading new books, if you have any reccomendations I'd love to hear them!

1 comment :

  1. Glad you are recommending books. I've been on the lookout for a few new ones to get into so thanks for sharing! Xo, M at BT


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