September 20, 2010

The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh

The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh
Charlotte Mosley, ed.


(September 20, 2010)

This volume collects decades of delightful correspondence between two terrific writers who loved books, adored gossip, and enjoyed a complex circle of friends. All their friends are titled, rich, beautiful, or accomplished. In the later letters, so are their children. Almost everyone has a nickname, and editor Charlotte Mosley has a merry time sorting everyone out in abundant, concise, and witty footnotes.

Waugh and Mitford sure had a swell time.

It’s been interesting to chat about Mitford with my friends. Some people barely know her; I’ve never read any of her work myself. But surprising people know all about the Mitford sisters, six legendary beauties who had famously complicated lives. Unity shot herself for love of Hitler, Diana married British Fascist Sir Oswald Mosley, Jessica married a Communist, Deborah married the Duke of Devonshire. (See Jo Walton’s wonderful Ha’penny, too.)