The Six: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Definitely not the Crawley sisters of Downton Abbey! The six Mitford sisters – Nancy, Pamela, Diana, Unity, Jessica and Deborah – were born to privilege and came of age as debutantes in the 1930’s; each embraced their own world view and life path. Unity became a friend of Hitler; Diana and Pamela were fascists; Jessica a communist; Nancy a writer; and Deborah a duchess.

The book follows their tumultuous lives all the way through to the death of the last sister in 2014. Wow! Lots of consequences and inter-family fighting over the interpretation of the events, fueled in part by Nancy’s novels. For the Anglophile who embraces the good and the not-so-good of the British aristocracy.

— Gail



"Riveting. The Six captures all the wayward magnetism and levity that have enchanted countless writers without neglecting the tragic darkness of many of the sisters' life choices and the savage sociopolitical currents that fueled them." - Tina Brown, The New York Times Book Review

The eldest was a razor-sharp novelist of upper-class manners; the second was loved by John Betjeman; the third was a fascist who married Oswald Mosley; the fourth idolized Hitler and shot herself in the head when Britain declared war on Germany; the fifth was a member of the American Communist Party; the sixth became Duchess of Devonshire.

They were the Mitford sisters: Nancy, Pamela, Diana, Unity, Jessica, and Deborah. Born into country-house privilege in the early years of the 20th century, they became prominent as "bright young things" in the high society of interwar London. Then, as the shadows crept over 1930s Europe, the stark--and very public--differences in their outlooks came to symbolize the political polarities of a dangerous decade.

The intertwined stories of their stylish and scandalous lives--recounted in masterly fashion by Laura Thompson--hold up a revelatory mirror to upper-class English life before and after WWII. The Six was previously published as Take Six Girls.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250099532
ISBN-10: 1250099536
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: September 6th, 2016
Pages: 400
Language: English