The surviving Mitford sister, the Duchess of Devonshire, has written an autobiography. I used to love Nancy Mitford's books and was upset to discover her siblings were Nazis and commies. Yuck. I certainly know what it is like to have relatives with objectionable politics. I'm not sure I handle things as well as the Duchess, though, since I draw a line at -- among other things -- anti-Semitism.
Her sister Unity was an enthusiastic Nazi; her other sister Diana married Sir Oswald Mosley, had extreme views on race, and spent part of the second world war in Holloway prison because she was deemed a threat. I suggest that in her memoir, she is a little kind to both, given their views. "Quite kind?" she says incredulously. "I adored them. I really loved them both. When we got old, I liked Diana better than any other person in the world." So she accepted their politics? "Their politics were nothing to do with me. The same with my sister Jessica." Jessica, who spent most of her adult life in the US and is best known for her book The American Way of Death, was a communist and civil rights campaigner. "She was as outlandish as any of them," says the duchess.
I found this part familiar as well -- I have siblings who are about this "kind" to me. The Duchess certainly helps put to rest the myth that youngests are spoiled and babied:
She [Nancy] would have been amazed at me writing this book because she thought I was completely half-witted. She called me 'Nine' [Debo's supposed mental age], and used to introduce me to her smart French friends long after I was married by saying, 'This is my little sister aged nine.'"
Read the story -- the woman has great humour (and appears to be an animal lover).