DAUGHTERS OF REBELS by Jessica Mitford
Kirkus Star


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Jessica Mitford is the youngest of the seven children of Lord and Lady Redesdale, and three of her six sisters have already been conspicuous in the public eye; the tart-tongued Nancy who ""broke ground"" for the others-- and Unity and Diana who were so prominently pro-Hitler. All of them came by their non-conformity naturally, and Jessica's story- which begins with her childhood and ends at World War II- has some highly entertaining family scenes dominated by a fiery father and a notional mother (he disapproved of many things- particularly his sons-in-law; she mistrusted all doctors and medicines, and had some curious economies.) Unity and Diana's growing commitment to Fascism, helped to confirm Jessica's youthful espousal of what her parents considered ""Ballroom Communism"". They took it more seriously when she ran off to cover the Spanish Civil War with Esmond Romilly (Churchill's nephew and her cousin) and forced them to agree to their marriage. They returned to England where she lost a baby, headed on to America, and the book concludes with the three years of their marriage (Esmond was killed in the war) and their carefree, confident time here, in and out of money, in and out of jobs..... All of it is high- spirited and resilient, so that to the snob appeal of the eccentricities of the British peerage it adds a fresh attraction of its own.

Pub Date: June 9th, 1960
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin