Hons and RebelsPaperback
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- Publisher: Orion mass market paperback
- Format: Paperback | 272 pages
- Dimensions: 112mm x 196mm x 22mm | 259g
- Publication date: 1 September 2004
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0575400048
- ISBN 13: 9780575400047
- Edition statement: Revised ed.
- Illustrations note: 4
- Sales rank: 25,519
'Whenever I read the words "Peer's Daughter" in a headline,' Lady Redesdale once sadly remarked, 'I know it's going to be something about one of you children.' The Mitford family is one of the century's most enigmatic, made notorious by Nancy's novels, Diana's marriage to Sir Oswald Mosley, Unity's infatuation with Hitler, Debo's marriage to a duke and Jessica's passionate commitment to communism. Hons and Rebels is an enchanting and deeply absorbing memoir of an isolated and eccentric upbringing which conceals beneath its witty, light-hearted surface much wisdom and depth of feeling.
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Jessica Mitford was the fifth of the six Mitford daughters and always the rebel among her sisters - Nancy, Pam, Diana, Unity and Debo. At the age of nineteen she eloped to the Spanish Civil War with her cousin, Esmond Romilly, and the two of them moved to the USA in 1939. Esmond Romilly died in action in 1941 and Jessica later married Bob Treuhaft, a lawyer, with whom she lived in California. A one-time member of the American Communist Party, Jessica was a frequent target for the House Committee of Un-American Activities and was a passionate supporter of civil rights.
First published in 1960, this gloriously anarchic memoir of the eccentric Mitford family in the 1920s and 30s still makes good reading. The fifth of six good-looking, strong-minded sisters, Jessica became a Communist (Unity was Hitler's favourite, Diana married Oswald Mosley, and Debo married a duke), ran away with Esmond Romilly, and lived a precarious existence in the United States till 1939, when Esmond left to enlist in the RAF; he was killed in 1941. Jessica eventually remarried and became a passionate supporter of the Civil Rights movement. It is a joy to rediscover Farve, and Muv, and to visit again the Hons' Cupboard. Witty, outrageous, spontaneous and youthfully exuberant, it is now also a poignant testament to this extraordinary woman who died in July. (Kirkus UK)