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Wait for Me!: Memoirs by Deborah Mitford
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Wait for Me!: Memoirs (original 2010; edition 2011)

by Deborah Mitford, Charlotte Mosley

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3521831,026 (3.71)24
Member:HillaryGail
Title:Wait for Me!: Memoirs
Authors:Deborah Mitford
Other authors:Charlotte Mosley
Info:Picador (2011), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
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Wait for Me!: Memoirs by Deborah Mitford Duchess of Devonshire (2010)

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
I have no real interest in British royalty but this book contains numerous character sketches that are enjoyable. I do enjoy reading about the effect WWII had on British life and this book is a great document of that time period from the 20s to current era. ( )
  lunule | Aug 22, 2014 |
You wouldn't think the memoirs of a fusty aristocrat could be so gripping. But the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire - formerly Deborah, youngest of the notorious Mitford Sisters - has led a life marked by extremes of rarefied privilege and crushing tragedy. A great read. ( )
  Panopticon2 | Aug 18, 2014 |
Deborah Cavendish, better known as the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire and the last remaining Mitford sister, has lived a life so eventful that it almost seems mythical. From her oft-discussed childhood with her five sisters to tea with Hitler and helping to revive the ailing fortunes of the famed Cavendish estate, there is much in Debo’s life that has yet to be covered by the numerous biographies, memoirs of her sisters and collections of letters that have packed the shelves. Unfortunately, “Wait For Me!” manages to achieve the impossible by being insufferably dull. Cavendish’s writing lacks the wit and skill that her sisters Nancy and Jessica seemed to pull off with ease, with random vignettes of plodding prose in place of a sturdier narrative. While there are moments of genuine wit, Cavendish’s storytelling priorities seem questionable. More time and attention is given to recounting her days of fox hunting and debutante balls than to tea with Hitler and attending John F. Kennedy’s inauguration (an event which shockingly made her miss the beginning of hunting season). An unashamedly conservative figure, the reader’s mileage may vary when it comes to Cavendish’s outrage over having to sell a few Rembrandts to pay inheritance tax, as well as her uncomfortable defence of her Nazi sympathising sisters Diana and Unity’s politics. The book earns some points with Debo’s stoic but heart-breaking account of becoming the last remaining Mitford, but “Wait For Me!” is oddly lacking in insight and one for hard core Mitford devotees only. ( )
  Ceilidhann | Sep 20, 2013 |
I suspect that this is precisely the wrong place to start with the Mitfords. I was thrown willy-nilly into a confusing jumble of nicknames (each person has several), titles and anecdotes. I retire bloody and beaten.

Mitford aficionados, I'm open for advice.
( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Above all, though, it is enduring. Since the Duke's death in 2004, she has lived in a nearby village, but her appetite – for friends, for fun, even for work – belongs to someone half her age. This is what stays with you. As she relates the deaths of her sisters – Diana was the last to go, in 2003 – you feel, by rights, that her world should narrow, that she should, by now, be marooned on the survivors' island that is extreme old age. Yet this is emphatically not the case. She misses them. How could she not? But her eyes – always a special shade of blue – seem to me to be as beady, and as full of mischief, as ever.
 
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Epigraph
Dedication
To
Charlotte Mosley, my editor
Helen Marchant, my secretary
and my old friends Richard Garnett and Tristam Holland
who gave me the confidence to keep trying
First words
Blank. There is no entry in my mother's engagement book for 31 March 1920, the day I was born. The next few days are also blank. The first entry in April, in large letters is 'KITCHEN CHIMNEY SWEPT'.
Blank. There is no entry in my mother's engament book for 31 March 1920, the day I was born.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374207682, Hardcover)

Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire, is the youngest of the famously witty brood of six daughters and one son that included the writers Jessica and Nancy, who wrote, when Deborah was born, “How disgusting of the poor darling to go and be a girl.” Deborah’s effervescent memoir Wait for Me! chronicles her remarkable life, from an eccentric but happy childhood roaming the Oxfordshire countryside, to tea with Adolf Hitler and her sister Unity in 1937, to her marriage to Andrew Cavendish, the second son of the Duke of Devonshire. Her life changed utterly with his unexpected inheritance of the title and vast estates after the wartime death of his brother, who had married “Kick” Kennedy, the beloved sister of John F. Kennedy. Her friendship with that family would last through triumph and tragedy.

In 1959, the Duchess and her family took up residence in Chatsworth, the four-hundred-year-old family seat, with its incomparable collections of paintings, tapestry, and sculpture—the combined accumulations of generations of tastemakers. Neglected due to the economies of two world wars and punitive inheritance taxes, the great house soon came to life again under the careful attention of the Duchess. It is regarded as one of England’s most loved and popular historic houses.

Wait for Me! is written with intense warmth, charm, and perception. A unique portrait of an age of tumult, splendor, and change, it is also an unprecedented look at the rhythms of life inside one of the great aristocratic families of England. With its razor-sharp portraits of the Duchess’s many friends and cohorts—politicians, writers, artists, sportsmen—it is truly irresistible reading, and will join the shelf of Mitford classics to delight readers for years to come.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:58 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire, is the youngest of the famously witty brood that includes the writers Jessica and Nancy, who wrote when Deborah was born, "How disgusting of the poor darling to go and be a girl." Deborah's effervescent memoir chronicles her remarkable life, from an eccentric but happy childhood in the Oxfordshire countryside, to tea with Adolf Hitler and her controversially political sister Unity in 1937, to her marriage to the second son of the Duke of Devonshire. Her life would change utterly with his unexpected inheritance of the title and vast estates after the wartime death of his brother, who had married Kick Kennedy, the beloved sister of John F. Kennedy. Her friendship with that family would last through triumph and tragedy. This is a unique portrait of an age, and an unprecedented look at life inside one of the great aristocratic families of England.--From publisher description.… (more)

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