Thursday, 15 January 2009

A surfeit of Mitfords

Can one have too much of a good thing? As a reader, can one read too much of an author and consequently expire as a result? It is certainly the case with Lampreys and Cherries, but I have yet to hear of anyone expiring from a surfeit of Jane Austen.

Having said that, however, I think I am about to put the theory to the test ....

For Christmas I was given a copy of 'In Tearing Haste' - letters between Deborah Devonshire
and Patrick Leigh Fermor. In looking at my shelves I discovered that not only were my shelves remarkably full with Mitford novels, history, autobiography and general thoughts, but that I also seemed to be in possession of an excessive amount of their letters. In fact, adding them all together, they account for over 3,000 pages.

So I have decided to go on a romp with the Mitfords. I have always been fascinated with these six sisters, not least because of their differing politics, and to be allowed into their minds, as only letters can really do, will be a formidable and exciting thing. I don't expect to agree with them, and I'm sure some of Unity and Diana's letters will be uncomfortable and probably shocking to read, but then again their letters will no doubt make them more three dimensional, rather than cardboard villains.

I'm very much looking forward to my Mitford romp, and I promise you I shall take great care not to over stuff myself!


Anonymous said...

Try "The Book of Nonsense" by Edward Lear. It's light relief. :-)

oxford-reader said...

As is 'Cautionary Tales' by Hilaire Belloc! I shall never again slam doors thanks to one of those stories!!!

Becca said...

I have just gone out and bought The Pursuit of Love & Love in a Cold Climate. Having never read Mitford, I will now discover what much of the book world has talked about forever.