The Mitford Society Loves

ImageThe Mitford Society loves Victor Olliver, he’s a fellow of many talents: Author, astrologer and Blogger extraordinaire! If you like glossy magazines, bitchy queens worthy of a Soap Opera, witty prose and an unpredictable twist then Curtains is for you! Already a camp classic…


Terence is a great friend of The Mitford Society, he has reviewed my book and is ready to promote and share anything we (or fellow Mitties) are up to. Debo loved television, thank goodness for that, how else would she have discovered Elvis Presley? If you’re a fan of classic television shows then you’ll love Television: Rare & Well Done: Essays on the Medium. Terence has written detailed essays on the medium, covering just about every genre imaginable. Our friends over at the Margaret Lockwood Society will also enjoy this book.


In the spirit of Lady Redesdale our head is turned by physical beauty. This production of a book (and it really is a production) is marvellous for fans of Vivien Leigh or for those who simply enjoy the majesty of old photographs. Kendra Bean has been working on Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait for years, no stone was left unturned in researching Vivien’s life and as in the spirit of a new biography on a famous person she has brought something new to the mix. The bonus is that the biographical information is decorated by stunning photos. A real treasure.


The sentiments of newness as mentioned above can be applied to Churchill’s Rebel. Meredith Whitford should also add ‘detective’ to her list of credentials given the vast information she discovered not only on Decca but on Esmond, too. Every fragment of their lives together (and apart) has been meticulously researched. Sadly The Mitford Society is quite old fashioned and doesn’t possess a kindle (I read this via review copy on PDF) but a little hon. tells us that the paperback will be available asap.


Imperial Russia is a fascinating subject to The Mitford Society (don’t tell Decca!) and our lovely friend Christopher Warwick has written an in-depth biography of an overlooked figure of Russian royalty. His book Ella, Princess Saint & Martyr details the life of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter who rebelled against her grandmother’s wishes and married Grand Duke Serge Alexanrovich. It was at the wedding that her young sister, Alix, met the Grand Duke’s eldest brother, Tsar Nicholas II. A fateful match indeed. I enjoyed this aspect of learning about the Russian royal family as I had only been familiar with the Tsar and Tsarina’s assassination. A must read for fans of royalty.


The Mitford Society shamelessly won a Twitter competition (unwittingly, mind you) and thank goodness the bookish fates seemed to be at work. What a delight to receive Z: A Novel of Fitzgerald in the post. It is a stunning book, the gorgeous cover alone makes for a wonderful decoration on a coffee table or bookshelf. But over here we love reading ours books as well as admiring them! The story is written from Zelda’s point of view which allows the writer Therese Anne Fowler to explore her subject without abiding to the restrictions of a conventional biography. Such a gripping book I gifted a copy to my friend. It will make for a most charming gift this Christmas, for yourself or others!

2014 Treats

Simon & Schuster is sending The Mitford Society some exciting biographies to review. And with Christmas just around the corner the biggest treat for me will be The Cazalet Chronicles. I can’t wait! 




The Mitford Society Annual


One month ago I decided to put this annual together. I’m amazed at the amount of people who have contributed pieces all with a common theme: Mitfordiana. As I discovered, getting the contributions was the easy part! Editing and formatting…what a nightmare. It took about 4 days, a few hours per day (often until 4am in the morning) to format this but I think it looks rather well! The dimensions of the book are quite large, 8.5×11 and it is 160 pages…all with content, none of those deceiving blank pages at the front and back! The cost of producing such an annual was never far from my mind, I initially wanted to keep the book around the size of The Mitford Girls’ Guide to Life but unfortunately that made it a print run of over 300 pages…and with each page the cost was greater. Those who have used CreateSpace will be aware of the pricing sanctions etc. I want to be upfront and let you know that on each book I will earn about £1.09 royalty which is going towards producing an official website for The Mitford Society. I want to create an online record for archives etc because, as you will know if you subscribe to the mailing list, I have quite a lot of treasures which Facebook does little justice to. So there we have it! This is the pilot annual and it has been a learning curve. Now I must dash back to my secret project which has a 6 month deadline. I can’t wait to share the news with you all!

Click here for the annual.

Our forthcoming annual

The Mitford Society’s annual has been a whirlwind of preparation but in the space of a month all of the submissions are in! I can tell you now that you’re in for a treat, the annual is a combination of academic essays, fun reviews, personal stories, photographs, a re-cap of Mitfords Eve at Sutton House and of course, the Mitford murder mystery which opens the book. I wanted to channel something quite unique, though paying homage to Nancy Mitford’s The Water Beetle and A talent to Annoy, and also The Pursuit of Laughter, though with less restraint than Diana’s critical essays. It has turned from a magazine sized vision into a full scale book! I have included the table of contents below, I hope you all approve!

Murder in the Hons Cupboard:- Meredith Whitford & Lyndsy Spence

Stranger than dreams and far more disordered:- An extract from The Fertile Fact

 The Most Charming Duchess:- Charles Twigger

 Pamela’s Irish Castle:- Stephen Kennedy

 Living in a Mitford House:- Debbie Catling

 Nancy’s True Love: Versailles:- Rebecca McWattie

 Nancy in Versailles:- Chiara Martinelli

 Esmond Romilly:-Meredith Mitford

 Diana Mosley :- David Platzer

 Understanding Unity:- Meems Ellenberg

 To the editor of the Daily Mail, a mock letter from Unity Mitford: – Emma Reilly

 Muv’s American Adventure:- Lyndsy Spence

 A Honnish Reunion:- Lyndsy Spence

 Stargazing with the Mitfords:- Astrology Charts by Victor Olliver

 From Countryside to Couture:- Natalie Tilbury

 The Mitford Sisters & The Turbulent Thirties:- by Lyndsy Spence, printed in Vintage Life magazine.

 The Photography Face:-Lyndsy Spence

 Laying the Foundations of The Mitford Industry:– David Ronneburg

 The Mitford Industry: An editor’s point of view:- An interview with Mark Beynon by Lyndsy Spence

 Re-issuing Nancy Mitford:- Emma Howard Capuchin Classics, Series Editor

 In Search of Nancy:- Barbara Cooke

 Evelyn Waugh & The Mitfords:- Jeffrey Manley of the Evelyn Waugh Society

 The American Way of Death & Pop Culture:- Terence Towles Canote

 The Pursuit of Love: The perils of a would-be film:- Lyndsy Spence

 Moths to the Flame: The Mitfords of Mull:- An extract of a play by Willie Orr

 Mitfords Eve:– A Mitford themed event hosted by The Amy Grimehouse in association with The National Trust & the BFI.

 The Mitfords & Modern Writers. Blog interviews with:

 – Meredith Whitford

– Deanna Raybourn

– Tessa Arlen

– Judith Kinghorn

 Extraorder Extras: Those Honnish by association:

 – Joan Wyndham

– Diana Skeffington

– Mariga Guinness

 Mitford sketches commissioned for The Mitford Girls’ Guide to Life:- Tessa Simpson