Hons and Rebels

Hons and Rebels

4.11 (2,782 ratings by Goodreads)
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'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.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 259 pages
  • 112 x 196 x 22mm | 258.55g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Orion mass market paperback
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 4pp B&W
  • 0575400048
  • 9780575400047
  • 24,253

Review quote

[An] uproarious yet deadly portrait of family life and family politics ... It evokes the atmosphere of the 1930s with more feeling than almost any other book of the period -- Christopher Hitchens THE ATLANTIC More than an extremely amusing autobiography ... she has evoked a whole generation. Her book is full of the music of time SUNDAY TIMES Wonderfully funny and very poignant -- Philip Toynbee Stunning. Reads like an extravagantly mannered fiction, except that it is all fabulously true ... Miss Mitford is at once touching and wildly funny, and there is not one of highly coloured characters that is not violently alive and uncomfortably kicking -- Siriol Hugh-Jones TATLER This book is just about my favourite book of all time ... I'm not entirely convinced I could like somebody who didn't like this book ... it's funny and moving and gives you an insight into this extraordinary moment as the war is about to begin ... it's so vivid, and what's more, it's incredibly current -- Robert Rinder A GOOD READ, BBC Radio 4 Her awareness of where she's from and what she had is astonishing ... to maintain that kind of awareness is astonishing, and she is very funny, but she also writes very well ... she mixes the hugely political, the very sweeping things, with intensely personal moments -- Stella Duffy A GOOD READ, BBC Radio 4 What is really quite amazing about this book, which I have read many, many times, and love ... [is] she's not La Pasionaria, she's not some really left-wing heroine, but she is amazing to have got from where she started to where she ended up -- Harriett Gilbert A GOOD READ, BBC Radio 4show more

About Jessica Mitford

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.show more

Review Text

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)show more

Rating details

2,782 ratings
4.11 out of 5 stars
5 37% (1,039)
4 41% (1,140)
3 18% (514)
2 2% (68)
1 1% (21)
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