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Deborah Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire (1920–2014)

Författare till Wait for Me! Memoirs

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(eng) Not to be confused with her husband's famous ancestor, Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire.

Foto taget av: Deborah Mitford Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire

Verk av Deborah Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire

Associerade verk

The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters (2007) — Bidragsgivare — 819 exemplar


Allmänna fakta

Vedertaget namn
Duchess of Devonshire, Deborah Cavendish,
Andra namn
Mitford, Deborah
Cavendish, Deborah
Freeman-Mitford, Deborah
Devonshire, Deborah
Cavendish, Deborah Vivien Freeman-Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire
Edensor, Derbyshire, England, UK
Asthall Manor, Oxfordshire, England, UK
Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, England, UK
Old Vicarage, Edensor, Derbyshire, England, UK
Lismore Castle, County Waterford, Ireland
Mitford, Nancy (sister)
Mitford, Jessica (sister)
Mitford, Diana (sister)
Mitford, Algernon B. (grandfather)
Mosley, Oswald (brother-in-law)
Guinness, Desmond (nephew) (visa alla 13)
Guinness, Jonathan (nephew)
Murphy, Sophia (daughter)
Churchill, Randolph S. (2nd cousin)
Soames, Mary (2nd cousin)
Devonshire, Andrew (husband)
Mitford, Unity (sister)
Mitford, Pamela (sister)
Royal Agricultural Society of England
Royal Smithfield Club
Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust
Royal Collections Trust
Priser och utmärkelser
DCVO (1999)
Kort biografi
Deborah Cavendish, née Freeman-Mitford, was born at Asthall Manor, the estate in Oxfordshire, England, of her parents Sydney and David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale. She was the youngest of six sisters and a brother in this eccentric family. They were made famous by the writings of her older sister Nancy and the political activities of Diana, Unity, and Jessica. She grew up with governesses but had no formal education as her parents thought it was wasted on girls, who were expected to marry. Deborah astonished them at age 21 by marrying Andrew Cavendish, the surviving second son of the 10th Duke of Devonshire. When Andrew's father died in 1950, he became the 11th Duke, inheriting vast wealth, including a castle in Ireland and Chatsworth, the legendary 35,000-acre estate in Derbyshire that had been in his family since the mid-16th century. However, it came with inheritance taxes of nearly $20 million and enormous maintenance costs. And like many of Britain's grand country houses, Chatsworth House was outmoded and rundown. The Duchess made it her life's work to transform the estate into a self-sustaining family business. She extensively renovated and modernized Chatsworth House, created a market to sell meat, produce, and other comestibles made on the estate, and opened gift shops, restaurants, boutiques, and two hotels nearby. She lectured on farming, drawing thousands of people a year. Chatsworth finally became self-sufficient for the first time in 2002, covering its annual $6.5 costs with income from the Chatsworth House Trust and proceeds from visitors and the businesses she had started. Beginning with Chatsworth: The House in 1980, the Duchess wrote more than a dozen books, including more on Chatsworth and volumes of essays, reminiscences, cookbooks, and letters exchanged with her friend Patrick Leigh Fermor. Her memoir Wait for Me! was published in 2010. She and her husband had seven children, four of whom died shortly after birth. In 1999, she was named a Dame Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (DCVO) by Queen Elizabeth II.
Not to be confused with her husband's famous ancestor, Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire.



Yet another glimpse--but perhaps the last firsthand account--into the lives of the Mitford sisters.
fmclellan | 27 andra recensioner | Jan 23, 2024 |
This has been sitting on my shelf for years! Deborah Devonshire was the youngest of the famous Mitford daughters and after marriage to the 11th Duke of Devonshire she became a Duchess, moving into Chatworth House on the Duke gaining his inheritance. After reading this lovely reminiscent collection of stories I’m a fan. She writes with a relaxed friendly style and name drops with appalling ease about various Lords, Ladies, Dukes and Earls with nary an ounce of snobbishness. All these aristocrats were her friends and acquaintances, just part of her life and no one else could probably write about the problems of wearing a tiara and make it sound normal. I got the feeling that Deborarh Devonshire would have been (she died in 2014) a delight to know in person. She was well read, intelligent, funny, thoughtful and had that special quality of being able to talk with anyone about anything and make that person feel important. There are some black and white sketches which add a nice touch and there’s a very personal introduction by Alan Bennett which I recommend everyone read!… (mer)
Fliss88 | 2 andra recensioner | Jan 14, 2024 |
This is an entertaining exchange of correspondence, in many ways, because Paddy Leigh Fermor loved books but obviously hated sitting down to write them, whilst Deborah, youngest Mitford sister and Duchess of Devonshire in her day job, always professed to loath books(*) but rather enjoyed writing them. He knew as little about death-watch beetles, the National Trust and diseases of sheep as she did about literature and Byzantine art, so their letters, which span five decades, never get bogged down in professional gossip, but range freely over the oddness of the world, the strange ways their respective lives have panned out, and the many interesting people they both know.

Being who they were, between the two of them they mixed with just about everybody who was anybody in the mid-20th century (not just in England and Greece, either: Deborah was sister-in-law to the Kennedys, and Paddy knew most of the ex-aristocrats of Central and Eastern Europe). Royalty, landowners, politicians, spies, travel writers and SOE types, artists and sculptors, Hollywood, the queerocracy, the Bloomsburies, and all the rest. So the names do tend to drop thick and fast, but of course they aren't trying to impress each other, it's more like an amused fascination with the way all these connections drop into place.

Often, too, they seem to use their letters as a safe space to try out material for articles or speeches they are working on: it's quite odd sometimes to read Paddy's long and detailed accounts to Deborah of trips to remote places he's been on with her husband.

Charlotte Mosley (daughter-in-law of Deborah's sister Diana) had the great advantage when she was editing this book that both participants were still around to answer questions, and she has included their comments in the footnotes where something is obscure from the letters. Other than that, her own notes are brief, unintrusive and usually enough to help you to keep up with all the idiosyncratic nicknames.

As with almost all letter collections, the main drawback is that the last part of the book leaves you on a depressing note of old age, illness, and a steady stream of funerals. Maybe the trick would be to start at the end and work backwards in time?

(*) This was so notorious that when Evelyn Waugh sent her a presentation copy of his latest book in 1959, he arranged for it to be bound with all the pages blank to see if she would notice.
… (mer)
thorold | 7 andra recensioner | Jul 25, 2021 |
I have so much admiration and respect for Deborah's devotion to Chatsworth. Historic homes are so demanding of upkeep and financial resources that it's questionable if Chatsworth would be in its present condition without her years of dedication and hard work. Even though I'm not likely to visit it (Kelmscott and Red House, the residences of William Morris, are already at the top of my list, as well as the spectacular Leighton House Museum in Kensington, and Tower House, if only Jimmy would invite me over, sigh) I hope it continues to stand beautiful and full of art treasures for many more years to come.… (mer)
Equestrienne | 27 andra recensioner | Jan 5, 2021 |



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