By Jessica Mitford
“Decca” Mitford lived a larger-than-life existence: born into the British aristocracy—one of the recognized (and occasionally notorious) Mitford sisters—she ran away to Spain through the Spanish Civil conflict along with her cousin Esmond Romilly, Winston Churchill’s nephew, then got here to the USA, turned a tireless political activist and a member of the Communist get together, and launched into an excellent profession as a memoirist and muckraking journalist (her funeral-industry exposé, The American means of Death, turned an fast classic). She was once a celebrated wit, a charmer, and all through her lifestyles a prolific and passionate author of letters—now accumulated here.
Decca’s correspondence crackles with irreverent humor and mischief, and with acute perception into human habit (and misbehavior) that attests to her beneficiant event of the worlds of politics, the humanities, journalism, publishing, and low and high society. this is correspondence with everybody from Katharine Graham and George Jackson, Betty Friedan, omit Manners, Julie Andrews, Maya Angelou, Harry Truman, and Hillary Rodham Clinton to Decca’s sisters the Duchess of Devonshire and the novelist Nancy Mitford, her mom and dad, her husbands, her teenagers, and her grandchildren.
In a profile of J.K. Rowling, The day-by-day Telegraph (UK), acknowledged, “Her favourite drink is gin and tonic, her least favourite meals, journey. Her heroine is Jessica Mitford.”
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Extra resources for Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford
People don’t live their lives in chapters, of course; lives are far too sloppy for such easy categorization. Books, however, do come in chapters or sections, as a convenience for the reader. My division of Decca’s letters into chronological sections that seem to define periods of her life is entirely arbitrary. I hope it serves more as a convenience to the reader—an easy place to take a breath—than a definitive judgment on stages of life. With Decca, of course, all her life was a stage. Decca in 1922, at age four or five.
Among her most treasured possessions was the Nazi Party badge given her by Hitler. Later, Diana and Unity introduced their parents into Hitler’s circle, and both were impressed. Lady Redesdale was especially taken with the Führer and fascism and maintained her allegiance long after her husband publicly repudiated his. ”) Her parents’ growing rift on fascism was an important factor in their eventual separation during the war. At the age of seventeen, as Decca endured the predebutante social rounds and brooded about a way to realize her fervent commitment to leftist causes, the activities of her second cousins, Esmond and Giles Romilly, captured her attention.
She told a correspondent, “I think commas are often (but NOT always) a matter of personal preference; Nancy hardly ever used them, and E. ” In general, I refused to play Waugh’s role. Nevertheless, the challenge facing an editor of letters is to ease the contemporary reader’s passage through the correspondence while simultaneously remaining true to the text and tone of the original. The result often appears inconsistent. That is, some errors in grammar or idiosyncrasies in spelling have been corrected to assist the reader in following the text or to correct what can be explained by typing haste alone; others have been left untouched because they may reveal something about Decca or her style or because they were possibly satirical in intent or characteristic in some way (such as English or American spellings).
Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford by Jessica Mitford