The lives of the Mitford Sisters have riveted, and repelled, anglophiles since the thirties. Diana Mitford once wrote, 'I must admit "the Mitfords" would madden ME if I didn’t chance to be one'. Their hold on the public imagination can be attributed to a mixture of aristocratic eccentricity, romance, rebellion, devotion, betrayal, estrangement, tragedy, and loss; and through it all, a uniquely irrepressible wit. And although much of it will survive in the memoirs, biographies, novels, and collected letters they and others have written, the last living link has been lost with the death of Deborah, the youngest of that astonishing sextet.
Between 1904 and 1920, Lord and Lady Redesdale produced a son, Tom, and six daughters - Nancy, the novelist and Francophile; Pam, a horsewoman, farmer and cook; Diana, a Fascist beauty; Unity, a besotted Nazi; Jessica (‘Decca’), an American communist and writer; and Deborah (‘Debo’).