Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wait for Me! -- Brighton

A continuing series of Neels-ian excerpts from the autobiography ("Wait for Me!") of Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire:

In 1932 our ordered life received a shock when after four years of marriage Diana left Bryan for Sir Oswald Mosley. Sir O had been a political figure since the age of twenty-one...Supremely confident that he himself had the answers to Britain's economic problems, he was about to launch the British Union of Fascists when he and Diana met.
Muv and Farve did not talk about Diana in front of us younger children; it was not the way then--any disagreeable subject was discussed privately...Sir O was married with three young children and had no intention of leaving his wife. My parents were dismayed when Diana openly became his mistress and were shocked that Bryan was named the guilty party in her divorce. Bryan went through the motions of spending a night with a prostitute in a Brighton hotel, which in those days was how many divorces were arranged, but Muv and Farve considered it dishonest. Bryan was miserable about the separation--nothing could have been further from his wishes--but Diana was a forceful character and had decided on her future.



  1. Dishonest, and so unfair. - Why did poor Bryan have to make it easy for them? Why could they not be named the guilty parties that they were? To spare Diana's family? To spare poor Sir O's wife and children?
    < grumble, grumble >
    Betty Annoyed Anonymous

  2. To spare 'Sir' Oswald political career in support of A. Hitler. Beyond grumble. Also he had an affair with his wife's sister, either while his wife was sick or very soon after her death, while still dallying with Diana whom the SIL hated as a homewrecker, which IMO she very much was. After his widowhood, and the decay of his political career with WWII, OM married DMG and they stayed married for the rest of their lives (he predeceased her by a considerable margin) and had two kids to add to the three from his first and two from her first. They were great friends with the Wallis Warfield Simpson and the former King Edward VIII. Seriously, this family was amazing in myriad ways.

    -Betty van den Betsy

  3. And both Diana and Oswald spent much of WWII in jail as suspected enemy sympathizers. Sister Nancy Mitford may have helped supply the info to the UK gov't that kept them there. Oh, dear. Conditions for them in prison were considerably better than for many, but it wasn't a country club.