The Mitfords & The Chocolate Challenge

Thanks to D.E. Ireland for nominating The Mitford Society to participate in the Chocolate Challenge in which we choose three of our favourite books and liken them to dark, milk or white chocolate. D.E .Ireland is a team of award winning authors, Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta. Together they have created a unique series based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion. Their latest book Wouldn’t it be Deadly will be published by St. Martin’s Minotaur on September 23rd 2014. Since we’re talking about the Mitford Girls, I thought I would bend the rules slightly! Instead of mentioning my personal favourite books I have likened the flavours of chocolate to the girls’ owns books.


‘Those chocolates were the most delicious I’ve ever tasted, my favourite sort too, logs!’

– Decca to Farve, circa 1932


THE sophisticated lifestyle calls for dark chocolate, which the newly-wedded Mrs. Bryan Guinness discovered. While honeymooning at the Guinness family apartment on rue de Poitiers, Diana was enchanted to learn that the apartment came with two servants – a butler and a cook – who lived there all year round in spite of the apartment being seldom occupied. The cook’s specialty was a famous French pastry, consisting of meringue dipped in dark chocolate. The original title of the pudding, far from politically correct, shall be referred to as Tete de Chocolat. For the duration of her honeymoon Diana feasted on Tete de Chocolat every day. As such, the book I have chosen to accompany dark chocolate is A Life of Contrasts by Diana Mosley.



Milk Chocolate is just the type of chocolate that would appeal to children, and to philistines such as Farve, Debo and Pam. I could imagine Muv baking a tray of German Biscuits – pleasing to the eye, but their name….REALLY. Farve might bellow: ‘The only good German is a dead German!’ But upon seeing the delicious chocolate covering, he would snatch one off the tray and go off in search of his Puccini arias. Unity, of course, would be delighted, and as such she would refrain from her usual diet of mashed potatoes in honour of her adopted country. The perfect book to accompany milk chocolate is Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love.





White Chocolate is the perfect edible treat to conjure up images of the debutante season. My reason for selecting Jessica Mitford’s memoirs, Hons & Rebels, is because as a young deb she was full of sound and fury about the upper-classes and their sick-making customs. However, Decca admitted that she rather enjoyed her deb season. And, in spite of her protests and the formalities of being presented at Court, she managed to smuggle chocolates down her knickers, which to her great embarrassment, tumbled out as she was being photographed.


For the Chocolate Challenge I nominate Diana Birchall of Light, Bright, and Sparkling and Meems Ellenberg of Meemselle.


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