Mitford Family Portrait

October 3, 2014

Mitford pub The Swan Inn Oxford


Like many young English girls over the past eighty years, Nancy Mitford’s Love in A Cold Climate was a defining novel of my youth. This week the last remaining Mitford sister Debo’s funeral occurred so I thought that I would quickly share one of my favourite Mitford scenes on the blog. This is a snapshot from the pub Debo owned in Oxfordshire, The Swan Inn. A  few years ago I visited the house where the Mitford’s grew up as a part of an open garden scheme and stopped for lunch at the pub Debo owns a stones throwaway from the house in Burford. It is a comfortable old inn, a million miles away from the splendour of Chatsworth House that Debo would call home as the Duchess of Devonshire and is crammed full of paraphernalia of the Mitford family history saga. We had lunch by the fireplace which was adorned with these family portraits of all the sisters in their youth, from the communist to the fascist, the Mitford’s represented an astonishing curio of inter-war aristocratic life with all its pain and eccentricities.


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