By Jessica Mitford
“Decca” Mitford lived a larger-than-life lifestyles: born into the British aristocracy—one of the recognized (and occasionally notorious) Mitford sisters—she ran away to Spain throughout the Spanish Civil struggle along with her cousin Esmond Romilly, Winston Churchill’s nephew, then got here to the USA, grew to become a tireless political activist and a member of the Communist get together, and launched into a super profession as a memoirist and muckraking journalist (her funeral-industry exposé, The American manner of Death, turned an quick classic). She was once a celebrated wit, a charmer, and all through her existence a prolific and passionate author of letters—now accrued here.
Decca’s correspondence crackles with irreverent humor and mischief, and with acute perception into human habit (and misbehavior) that attests to her beneficiant adventure of the worlds of politics, the humanities, journalism, publishing, and low and high society. this is correspondence with everybody from Katharine Graham and George Jackson, Betty Friedan, leave out Manners, Julie Andrews, Maya Angelou, Harry Truman, and Hillary Rodham Clinton to Decca’s sisters the Duchess of Devonshire and the novelist Nancy Mitford, her mom and dad, her husbands, her kids, and her grandchildren.
In a profile of J.K. Rowling, The day-by-day Telegraph (UK), stated, “Her favourite drink is gin and tonic, her least favourite nutrition, journey. Her heroine is Jessica Mitford.”
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Extra info for Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford
Nevertheless, the challenge facing an editor of letters is to ease the contemporary reader’s passage through the correspondence while simultaneously remaining true to the text and tone of the original. The result often appears inconsistent. That is, some errors in grammar or idiosyncrasies in spelling have been corrected to assist the reader in following the text or to correct what can be explained by typing haste alone; others have been left untouched because they may reveal something about Decca or her style or because they were possibly satirical in intent or characteristic in some way (such as English or American spellings).
To Nancy Mitford and Diana Mitford Guinness Pontresina, Switzerland ca. January 16, 1930 Dear Nancy & Corbish, Last night I went to a party & danced with M. Chaliapine. He isso sweet, he jumped about with me and hummed in a sweet voice to the band. I have struck an acquaintance with his two daughters at the Pontresina Hotel. They are good and nyang4—aged 8 and 17. It is snowing a blizerd to-day. Love From Decca To Lord Redesdale ca. 1931 Darling Morg,5 Thank you FRIGHTFULLY for the delicious cherries they werent a bit too bad.
Despite the trims, I have tried to maintain some of the original context, even when it was of little significance. My purpose has been to allow the reader the same “feel” for Decca’s circumstances as I had in first reading her remarkable letters. I have also wanted to avoid the impression of publishing a book of “Jessica Mitford’s Selected Paragraphs,” although in places that impression is unavoidable. Another issue I faced was the identification of correspondents, especially those whose names or titles changed over time, whether because of marital status or for some other reason.
Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford by Jessica Mitford