Poison Pen - Christopher Hitchens - The Atlantic

The Exceptional Insouciance of Jessica Mitford

Byline: Christopher Hitchens; 2006-10-01; Atlantic Monthly; 

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 "Jessica Mitford was one of a clutch of children born to the uncontrollably eccentric Lord and Lady Redesdale and raised in an isolated mansion where niether formal education or contact with outsiders was permitted. Only one of the sisters, Deborah, fulfilled parental expectation by marrying a duke. of the remainder, unity and Diana betrayed their country; if not their class, by falling in love with Adolf Hitler in the first instance and Sir Oswald Mosley - founder of the British Blackshirt movement (and the nonfiction model for Roderick Spode) -- in the second. Antoher sister, Nancy, became a celebrated novelist and brittle social observer.  "In bold contrast, so to say, Jessica eloped with a Communist nephew of Winston CHurchill's named Esmond Romilly, fled to Spain to support the Republican cause, and emigrated to the United States as the Second World War was approaching . . ." 

Description:Hitchens' review of Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford by Peter Y. Sussman

Rights: Atlantic, all rights reserved