Reading Note:
Do Admit
Wait For Me!

It’s no use; I can’t tear myself away. I spent an hour poring over the Google Maps view of Edensor, trying to identify the Old Vicarage — in vain. I’m pretty sure that I located Edensor House, though. That’s where the Marchioness of Hartington lived when she received Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, in 1948 — the only photograph that I’ve ever seen in which Her Majesty the Queen looks (painfully) overdressed. Do admit: the memoirs of Deborah Mitford, dowager Duchess of Devonshire, can’t be put down. Wait For Me! is one of the most aptly titled books that I’ve ever encountered, because that’s what you’re going to do once you’ve got the book in your hands. You’re going to wait until Debo has told you everything that she has to say.

That’s what you’re going to do if, like me, The Sun King, Nancy Mitford’s book about Louis XIV, was one of the first books that you owned. (It was also, arguably, the first coffee-table book.) If, in your twenties, you found Jessica Mitford’s Hons and Rebels to be a profoundly simpatico but life-affirmingly positive account of family dysfunction. If, in short, you’ve known about “the Mitford Sisters” for a long time, longer, even, than Charlotte Mosley has been annotating the family correspondence. (Charlotte’s mother-in-law, Diana Mitford, was the beauty who left a Guinness for Sir Oswald Mosley — almost as rich — and a wedding chez Goebbels.) You’ve forgotten more stories about these six girls and their crazy parents than most people ever know about their own families. You feel as though you must have met Nanny Blor herself in some dim childhood playroom.

What makes the Mitfords fascinating has changed over the years.

Continue reading at Daily Blague / reader.

2 Responses to “Reading Note:
Do Admit
Wait For Me!

  1. Stan says:

    Oh, I can’t wait! The high point came two years ago when I got a private tour by the current owner of Asthall Manor, and actually set foot in the “Hons Cupboard.” Surprise! It has a window!

  2. Fossil Darling says:

    I can’t wait either, after reading your post. I am sure LXIV has his order in and I shall eagerly get it from him. The house is amazing.