“I’m writing a book about us when we were little,” Nancy Mitford wrote to her sister Jessica on April 13, 1945. “It’s not a farce this time but serious — a novel, don’t be nervous!” The novel was The Pursuit of Love and Nancy’s family had every reason to be nervous.

The seven Mitfords — Nancy, Pamela, Tom, Diana, Unity, Jessica and Deborah — would become the six Radletts — Louisa, Linda, Matt, Jassy, Robin and Victoria. The Mitfords’ mother, Sydney, Lady Redesdale, always “Muv”, became the thinly disguised Aunt Sadie and their father, David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale, “Farve”, became Uncle Matthew.

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