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The entertaining and warm intelligence of Diana Mosley was the surprise discovery of the recently published letters of the six Mitford sisters. Throughout two marriages first to Bryan Guinness then to Oswald Mosley Diana's life was a galaxy of the titled, the brilliant, the famous and the infamous: Winston Churchill, Evelyn Waugh, Dora Carrington, John Betjeman, Aldous Huxley, Edith Sitwell, Sir Thomas Beecham, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Kurt Weill as well as Hitler, Eva Braun, and the Goebbels. Without exception, they were charmed by her beauty, and cleverness. When she began her own journalism for a privately printed magazine she had an incomparable store of insider knowledge to draw on, apart from a wicked sense of humour. Preferring biographies and autobiographies, she reviewed mostly writers whom she knew, illuminating their lives with intimate and hilarious details. Other subjects she wrote about range widely from France and love, to sex and prostitution. The Pursuit of Laughter collects Diana Mosley's articles for the first time, revealing her passion for jokes and anecdotes. Setting out to amuse the reader, she teases apart the inconsistencies of her subjects in the elegant English of a born storyteller.
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'Sharp, funny, debunking.' David Sexton Evening Standard --m
Stuffed with lives and letters.' Valerie Grove The Times --m
'Fascinating figures, from Cecil Beaton and the Duchess of Windsor to Putzi Hanfstaengl, Hitler of course and Dr Goebbels.' Selina Hastings Spectator --m
'Roar with laughter.' Laura Thompson --1
Diana Mosley was the third of the six Mitford sisters. As a 19 year old she married Bryan Guinness, an heir of the Guinness brewery fortune, with whom she had two children: Desmond and Jonathan. Eight years before World War II she met the controversial politician Oswald Mosley, for whom she left her first husband. They married in secret in Germany and lived with their two sons, Max and Alexander, at Wootton Lodge in Staffordshire. After the success of her sisters Nancy and Jessica, Diana became the third Mitford sister to receive literary acclaim - for her autobiography A Life of Contrasts. Deborah Devonshire is the dowager duchess of Devonshire. The youngest Mitford sister, she has published several acclaimed books since 1980, most recently In Tearing Haste.
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