The Mitford Sisters

The Hon. Nancy Mitford (November 28, 1904 June 30, 1973). Married Peter Rodd and had a longstanding relationship with French politician and statesman Gaston Palewski. Lived in France much of her adult life. Writer of many novels, including her most popular (and somewhat autobiographical)The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate. Also a noted biographer of historical figures, including the Sun King.

The Hon. Pamela Mitford (November 25, 1907 April 12, 1994). Married and divorced the millionaire scientist Derek Jackson. John Betjeman, who for a time was in love with her, referred to her as the "Rural Mitford". After her divorce from Jackson, she spent the remainder of her life as the companion of Giuditta Tommasi (died 1993), an Italian horsewoman.

The Hon. Thomas Mitford (January 2, 1909 March 30, 1945). Educated at Eton. Died as a soldier in Burma.

The Hon. Diana Mitford (June 17, 1910 August 11, 2003). Married aristocrat and writer Bryan Walter Guinness in the society wedding of the year. Left him in the society scandal of the year for British Fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley. Was imprisoned in Holloway Prison during the Second World War. Never renounced her belief in fascism.

The Hon. Unity Valkyrie Mitford (August 8, 1914 May 28, 1948). Famous for her adulation of and friendship with Adolf Hitler. Shot herself in the head when World War II broke out, but failed to kill herself and eventually died of pneumonococcal meningitis at West Highland Cottage Hospital, Oban, after being transferred there from Inch Kenneth.

The Hon. Jessica Mitford (September 11, 1917 July 22, 1996). Eloped with Esmond Romilly to the Spanish Civil War. Spent most of her adult life in the United States. Two years after Esmond was killed during military service she married Robert Treuhaft, whom she met as part of her work as a civil rights activist. Member of the American Communist Party (until 1958). Wrote several volumes of memoirs and several muckrakers, including the bestselling The American Way of Death (1963) about the funeral industry.

The Hon. Deborah Mitford (born March 31, 1920). She married Andrew Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire and with him turned his ancestral home, Chatsworth House, into one of Britain's most successful stately homes.