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Summary

The Mitford family is one of the century's most enigmatic, made notorious by Nancy's novels, Diana's marriage to Sir Oswald Mosley, Unity's infatuation with Hitler, Debo's marriage to a duke and Jessica's passionate commitment to communism. Hons and Rebels is an enchanting and deeply absorbing memoir of an isolated and eccentric upbringing which conceals beneath its witty, lighthearted surface much wisdom and depth of feeling.

©1960 Jessica Mitford (P)2017 Orion Publishing Group

Critic reviews

"More than an extremely amusing autobiography she has evoked a whole generation. Her book is full of the music of time." ( Sunday Times)
"Stunning. Reads like extravagantly mannered fiction, except that it is all fabulously true Miss Mitford is at once touching and wildly funny, and there is not one of her highly coloured characters that is not violently alive and uncomfortably kicking." ( Tatler)
"The story of Jessica Mitford's struggles makes tumultous and rewarding reading, and I recommend it heartily." (Elizabeth Janeway, The New York Times)
"[Mitford] has a most unusual talent for recapturing the past. There is a feeling of immediacy, as if it were all being written on the spot, at the time, by the teen-ager it was happening to. It is a fascinating book." ( New York Herald Tribune)
"The admitted 'rich vein of lunacy' in the Mitford family apparently has done nothing to dim the brilliance of its members among whom Jessica must be included. Although there's a strong undercurrent of seriousness throughout the book, it's submerged under downright hilariousness, crackling brash humor and enchanting turns-of-the-phrase." ( San Francisco Chronicle)
"Jessica Mitford (the fifth of the Mitford daughters) has brought a whole generation back to life in her autobiography .She tells the whole story of her rebellion with engaging frankness and a spirited, often humorous, enthusiasm." (Richard McLaughlin, Springfield Republican)
"Jessica tells her tale with girlish gush, brilliantly preserved a generation after the events." ( Time)

What listeners say about Hons and Rebels

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Fascinating story

Great examination of class and life as a rebel aristocrat. I'm a Mitford obsessive and it was great to hear about the family from Jessica's side. I only wish it had covered a longer time period.

4 people found this helpful

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Completely Fascinating

I did not want this to end. I listened twice. It was completely absorbing and perfect narration:

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interesting

extraordinary listen. there appears to be a total lack of self awareness in the author. the constant theme is Blame, family, friends, people who are being kind. never taking responsibility for actions, stealing, leave debts etc etc. not thinking of others ever. communist but likes the champagne life style. Also no emotion is shown really atall.

2 people found this helpful

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Get through the first 30 mins. Then it's amazing!

The details of the Mitfords' early life are interesting enough - the games, the nicknames, the secret language. But after perhaps 30 minutes of being OK, it takes off.

Brilliantly read, and a great, great story, including most of the big political events of the thirties.

1 person found this helpful

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Fascinating . insight into Jessica Mitford life

This book was beautifully read by Jenny Agutter .
It was an amazing insight into the life of the Mitford family .
Jessica’ spirit and humour and socialist values shone through as did that of her husband Edmond .
T

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Jenny Agutter takes it to the next level!

This is a wonderfully written biography. I make no judgement of the way of life etc. It is a glimpse into a world that has gone forever and Decca’s story captures the death throes brilliantly but also captures the breaking up of her family unit. I cannot think of anyone better than Jenny Agutter to voice the book, she absolutely strikes the right tone, an epic performance.

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Fascinating and engrossing

I found this audio sooo interesting, compelling and poignant......
Highly recommend it to all...enjoy it...

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as relevant today as ever

as relevant today as ever. madly deviant and yet relatable. Jenny Agutter's performance is sublime

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Great narration

Not my best read, very priviliged people behaving appallingly but interesting historically from their perspective. Well written. Finished as a book club choice.

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Great memoir

Decca Mitford's fascinating memoir of her childhood and marriage is a great listen, beautifully narrated by Jenny Agutter.