21.52 Deborah Mitford Wait for Me!: Memoirs

ISBN 13: 9780312610647

Wait for Me!: Memoirs

3,76 valoración promedio
( 2.324 valoraciones por Goodreads )
 
9780312610647: Wait for Me!: Memoirs

A NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS' CHOICE

Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire, is the youngest of the famously witty brood that includes the writers Jessica and Nancy. Wait for Me! chronicles her remarkable life, from an eccentric but happy childhood roaming the Oxfordshire countryside, to tea with her sister Unity and Adolf Hitler in 1937, to her marriage to Andrew Cavendish, the second son of the Duke of Devonshire. Written with intense warmth, charm, and perception, Wait for Me! is a unique portrait of an age of tumult, splendor, and change. "Touching . . . moving . . . [and] compelling as a portrait of a vanishing world" (The Wall Street Journal).

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

About the Author:

Deborah Vivien Freeman-Mitford Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, was brought up in Oxfordshire, England. In 1950 her husband, Andrew, the 11th Duke of Devonshire, inherited extensive estates in Yorkshire and Ireland as well as Chatsworth, the family seat in Derbyshire, and Deborah became chatelaine of one of England's great houses. She is the author of Counting My Chickens and Home to Roost, among other books, and her letters have been collected in The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters and In Tearing Haste: The Correspondence of the Duchess of Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor. Following her husband's death in 2004, she moved to a village on the Chatsworth estate.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 1   We Are Seven

Blank. There is no entry in my mother’s engagement book for 31 March 1920, the day I was born. The next few days are also blank. The first entry in April, in large letters, is ‘KITCHEN CHIMNEY SWEPT’. My parents’ dearest wish was for a big family of boys; a sixth girl was not worth recording. ‘Nancy, Pam, Tom, Diana, Bobo, Decca, me’, intoned in a peculiar voice, was my answer to anyone who asked where I came in the family.

The sisters were at home and Tom was at boarding school for this deeply disappointing event, more like a funeral than a birth. Years later Mabel, our parlourmaid, told me, ‘I knew what it was by your father’s face.’ When the telegram arrived Nancy announced to the others, ‘We Are Seven’, and wrote to Muv at our London house, 49 Victoria Road, Kensington, where she was lying-in, ‘How disgusting of the poor darling to go and be a girl.’ Life went on as though nothing had happened and all agreed that no one, except Nanny, looked at me till I was three months old and then were not especially pleased by what they saw.

Grandfather Redesdale’s huge house and estate in Gloucestershire, Batsford Park near Moreton-in-Marsh, was inherited by my father in 1916. It was too expensive to keep up and was sold in 1919. My father looked for somewhere more modest near Swinbrook, a small village where he owned land, fifteen miles from Batsford. There was no house there suitable for a family of six children and a seventh on the way, so he bought Asthall Manor in the neighbouring village. I was born soon after the move and my earliest recollections are of the ancient house and its immediate surroundings. Asthall is a typical Cotswold manor, hard by the church, with a garden that descends to the River Windrush. It was loved by my sisters and Tom, and the seven years spent there were probably the happiest for parents and children, the proceeds of the sale of Batsford giving the family a feeling of security that was never repeated.

There was, and is, something profoundly satisfying in the scale of Asthall village. It was a perfect entity where every element was in proportion to the rest: the manor, the vicarage, the school and pub; the farmhouses with their conveniently placed cowsheds and barns; the cottages, whose occupants supplied the labour for the centuries-old jobs that still existed when we were children; and the pigsties, chicken runs and gardens that belonged to the cottages. Before cars and commuters, you lived close to where you worked and the shops came to you in horse-drawn vans. This was the calm background of a self-contained agricultural parish, regulated by the seasons, in an exceptionally beautiful part of England.

My father planted woods to hold game, as well as a short beech avenue leading up to the house, and his dark purple lilacs outside the garden wall are still growing there after nearly a hundred years. The house itself needed much restoration. My mother’s flair for decoration and her talent for home-making ensured that the French furniture and pictures from Batsford were shown at their best. My father installed water-powered electric light – just the sort of contraption he adored; drawing heavily on his umpteenth cigarette, he would lean over the engineer, itching to do the job better himself. He made sure he had a child-proof door to his study by putting the handle high up out of reach. Sometimes we heard the voice of Galli-Curci singing Farve’s favourite aria, coming loudly from the outsize horn of his gramophone – a twin of the one in advertisements for His Master’s Voice. In another mood he might put on ‘The Diver’ (‘He is now on the surface, he’s gasping for breath, so pale that he wants but the stillness of death’), sung by Signor Foli in a terrifying and unnaturally low bass voice.

With foresight, or perhaps by luck, Farve converted the barn a few yards from the house into one large room with four bedrooms above and added a covered passage, ‘the cloisters’, to connect the two buildings. Tom and the older sisters lived in the barn, untroubled by grown-ups or babies, and made the most of their freedom. My father, who was famous for having read only one book, White Fang, which he enjoyed so much he vowed never to read another, entrusted Tom, aged ten, with the task of choosing which books to keep from the Batsford library. Nancy and Diana later said that if they had any education, it was due to the unrestricted access they had had to Grandfather’s books at Asthall. Later, a grand piano arrived for Tom who showed great musical promise. Music and reading were his passions.

 

The First World War was not long over and life for the survivors was limping back to normal. There was little to record in our family in the first few years of my life. Nancy went to Hatherop Castle, a finishing school nearby, and was taken to Paris with a group of friends, where she first saw the architecture and works of art that inspired in her a lifelong love of that city. She wrote enthusiastic letters to our mother about the shops, the food and the days spent at the Louvre. Pam busied herself with her ponies, pigs and dogs. Tom was at Lockers Park prep school in Hemel Hempstead. His orderly mind was already preparing for a career in the Law and he paid Nancy to argue with him all day during the holidays. Diana was an unwilling Girl Guide and played the organ in church, putting into practice her theory that ‘Tea for Two’, if played slowly enough, did very well as a voluntary.

The years at Asthall passed in a haze of contentment from my point of view. I was aware of The Others but they were so old and seemed to Decca (Jessica, my daily companion) and me to be of another world. It was not until later that I got to know them. Unity, next up in age from Decca and not yet in the schoolroom, made her huge presence felt but, although always kind to me, she was not an intimate. Our life in the nursery consisted of the daily round, the common task, secure and regular as clockwork.

At the age of five we started lessons with Muv, who followed the admirable Parents’ National Education Union (PNEU) system with its emphasis on learning through direct contact with nature and good books, and its disapproval of marks, prizes, rewards and exams. She taught us reading, writing and sums, and read us tales from the famous children’s history book, Our Island Story. She was a natural teacher and never made anything seem too difficult. At the age of eight, I moved on to the schoolroom and a governess (trained at the PNEU’s Ambleside College) and never enjoyed lessons again.

Our nursery windows overlooked the churchyard with its graves of wool merchants long since dead, the beautiful tombs topped with fleeces carved in stone. We were fascinated by funerals, which we were not meant to watch but of course we did. Decca and I once fell into a newly dug grave, to the delight of Nancy who pronounced fearful bad luck on us for ever. At that age, I was sure Farve would be buried by the path leading to our garden and even today I expect to see his big toe sticking up through the turf, which is what he warned me would happen if I misbehaved.

Beyond the churchyard to the left were stables, kennels and a garage. Early on at Asthall my father had a horrible accident in the stable yard: he was getting on to a young horse when it reared and fell backwards on to him, breaking his pelvis. The injury did not heal properly and, unable to throw his leg over a saddle, he never rode again. To the right of the churchyard was the vicarage. We adored the vicar’s wife and long after we had left Asthall, Pam and I used to ride over and trot briskly up the drive, shouting for ginger biscuits. Across the road was the kitchen garden with its glasshouses and glorious white peaches, reserved strictly for grown-ups. Unity and our cousin Chris Bailey committed the heinous crime of sneaking into the greenhouse and stealing some peaches. There was a stony silence throughout the house while they were reprimanded by my father, which made a big effect on the younger ones. Farve has gone down in history as a violent man, mainly because of Nancy’s portrayal of him as the irascible Uncle Matthew in her novels. While he could indeed get angry, he was never physically violent and his bark was far worse than his bite. We would tease him, goad him as far as we dared, until he turned and roared at us.

As soon as I could walk I shadowed Farve, struggling to keep up. He used to pick me up, throw me on to his shoulder and carry me over winter ditches and summer stinging nettles; the comforting feel of his velveteen waistcoat is inseparable from my memories of him. I must have been a great nuisance, but we saw eye to eye about everything. He took me fishing in the magic moment of the year when the mayfly were hatching and let me carry his net. As time went by, he showed me how to slide it under the hooked trout – no talking, no jerking – and land it on the bank. The sound of a reel when a line is cast on a trout rod equals early summer to me and the smell of newly cut grass, cow parsley, thrushes and ‘All the birds of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire’ (Edward Thomas’s Adlestrop is not far from Asthall) take me back to our stretch of the Windrush. No health, no safety, no handrail on the single planks that were our bridges as we crossed and recrossed over the river. It was paradise and I knew it. The river water had its own smell that rose from the easily stirred-up mud, and many years later when swimming among the weeds and mud in a pond high above Chatsworth, in the company of moorhens and mallard, nostalgia for the river at Asthall was almost too much and I was six again.

My father loved the river, described in the estate agent’s brochure when Asthall was sold as ‘of the most attractive character to a fisherman, including rapids, gentle swims and pool’, but he was plagued by the idea of the coarse fish that competed with the trout. Like Uncle Matthew, he called on the services of a chubb fuddler who came and scattered magic seed on the water till hundreds of chubb rose to the surface, ‘flapping, swooning, fainting, choking, thoroughly and undoubtedly fuddled’. Nancy’s account of this annual event is one of the funniest passages in any of her books.

Farve made a pool in the river, even adding a diving board for the brave, where we learned to swim, held up by water-wings and wearing rubber bathing caps that cruelly pulled our hair. His own bathing costume was made of thin, harsh, dark-blue serge bound with braid. For the sake of modesty it had a skirt – ‘my crrinoleeene’ he called it in an exaggerated French accent. Unexpectedly, Farve and his brothers spoke perfect French, thanks to their tutor Monsieur Cuvelier, who lived at Batsford and taught them when they were boys. The old tutor came to stay at Asthall during the holidays and his presence always put Farve in the sunniest of moods; according to Diana, ‘He and our uncles became boys again before our astonished eyes.’ Walking back to the house after bathing, Farve used to pick up sticks and stones with his toes to amuse us. ‘Look what my prehensile extremities can do,’ he said, but however hard we tried our toes could not be as clever or useful.

In the name of culture, my sisters started the Outing Club. Farve’s brother, Uncle Tommy, drove the older children in his car, an envied open-tourer that had a roof like the hood of a pram – with as many finger-pinching hinges – and windows of yellowing celluloid that cracked easily and were striped with sticking plaster. Unity, Decca and I went in Farve’s car. I was the Club Bore as we had to keep stopping for me to get out and be sick; all I remember of these outings is the grass by the roadside. We visited Kenilworth Castle and Stratford-upon-Avon in pursuit of history and literature. Another uncle, my mother’s brother George Bowles, accompanied us in the role of visiting professor and told us about the past glories of which Farve and Uncle Tommy were blissfully ignorant. I was too young to go on the outing to Stratford that passed into family lore, when Farve, pressed by Muv, took the older children to see Romeo and Juliet. Uncle Matthew’s reaction in The Pursuit of Love is unmistakably that of Farve: ‘He cried copiously and went into a furious rage because it ended badly. “All the fault of that damned padre,” he kept saying on the way home, still wiping his eyes. “That blasted fella, what’s ’is name, Romeo, might have known a blasted papist would mess up the whole thing. Silly old fool of a nurse too, I bet she was an R.C., dismal old bitch.”’

When I was four, my parents, Decca and I drove to Scotland in stages to stay with a friend of my father. An obvious stopping place on the way was Redesdale Cottage in Northumberland where Farve’s mother lived. Grandmother Redesdale was fat, pink-cheeked and smiling, with wispy white hair tucked into a small black cap. She was always dressed in black, unlike widows of today, and was a wonderful storyteller. She kept a Berkshire pig instead of a dog, the double of Beatrix Potter’s Pig-Wig, which she took to church on a lead. No one thought it a bit odd – affection for animals was taken for granted – and she had a similar affection for my father whom she called ‘Poor Dowdie’, with an indulgent smile.

Christmas parties at Asthall were homemade and on Christmas Night we wore fancy dress – nothing grand, we picked up whatever was to hand. My father’s only concession was to put on a red wig, but he never appears in the photographs as he was always behind the camera. Pam dressed as Lady Rowena from Ivanhoe and wore the same outfit every year: a long, floppy, low-necked gown, embellished with a row of orange-red beads. The beads are on my dressing table now and remind me of her every time I see them. Nancy was a dab hand at disguise and her costume was always the best. She loved making a bit of trouble and went missing one year when the family photograph was about to be taken. We shouted and looked for her everywhere. Eventually there was a knock at the back door and a filthy, cold, wet tramp appeared. It was Nancy. When Asthall was for sale, it was the sister of Mrs Hardcastle, wife of the prospective buyer, who became Nancy’s inspiration. Mrs Hardcastle’s sister was no beauty: she had a thick black moustache and wore a cloche hat and mothy fur slung around her neck. Nancy used to appear quite often in this dreary disguise and once took in Mabel, who showed her into the drawing room.

My mother gave a Christmas tea party every year for the village schoolchildren between the ages of five and fourteen. Lists of names and ages were kept from one year to the next and each child was given a toy and a garment by Father Christmas, who was played by the vicar. He arrived to an atmosphere of tremendous excitement: the big drawing room was darkened except for a few candles, handbells were rung and in he came through the window carrying his sack on his back. ‘I come from the land of ice and snow,’ he intoned in a deep voice to the dumbstruck children. The magic never failed. After an enormous tea, the children trooped out clutching their parcels and an orange, a treat in itself in those days.

My father did not wish for a social life. Muv would have enjoyed one but seldom suggested anything he would not want – she was aware of the hazards. Lunch guests were rare, but a memorable exception was the Duchess of Marlborough, the American Gladys Marie Deacon, second wife of the Ninth Duke, who came over from Blenheim Palace, the Marlboroughs’ family seat. She produced a paper handkerchief, the first any of us had seen, blew her nose and stuck it into a yew hedge. My father was outraged. At lunch she asked him if he had read Elinor Glyn’s Three Weeks (everyone was talking about t...

"Sobre este título" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

Los mejores resultados en AbeBooks

1.

Mitford, Deborah Duchess of Devonshire
Editorial: Picador 2010-09-13 (2010)
ISBN 10: 0312610645 ISBN 13: 9780312610647
Nuevos Softcover Cantidad: 4
Librería
BookOutlet
(Thorold, ON, Canada)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Picador 2010-09-13, 2010. Softcover. Estado de conservación: New. Softcover. Publisher overstock, may contain remainder mark on edge. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780312610647B

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 6,19
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: EUR 5,16
De Canada a Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

2.

Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire
Editorial: MacMillan Publishers
ISBN 10: 0312610645 ISBN 13: 9780312610647
Nuevos Cantidad: > 20
Librería
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción MacMillan Publishers. Estado de conservación: New. Brand New. Nº de ref. de la librería 0312610645

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 10,19
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: EUR 3,01
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

3.

Deborah Mitford Duchess of Devonshire, D
ISBN 10: 0312610645 ISBN 13: 9780312610647
Nuevos Cantidad: > 20
Librería
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción 2011. PAP. Estado de conservación: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Nº de ref. de la librería VV-9780312610647

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 9,97
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: EUR 3,43
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

4.

Mitford, Deborah
Editorial: Picador
ISBN 10: 0312610645 ISBN 13: 9780312610647
Nuevos PAPERBACK Cantidad: > 20
Librería
Mediaoutlet12345
(Springfield, VA, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Picador. PAPERBACK. Estado de conservación: New. 0312610645 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Nº de ref. de la librería NATARAJB1FI740642

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 10,16
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: EUR 3,43
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

5.

Deborah Mitford Duchess of Devonshire, D
ISBN 10: 0312610645 ISBN 13: 9780312610647
Nuevos Cantidad: 2
Librería
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción 2011. PAP. Estado de conservación: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Nº de ref. de la librería IB-9780312610647

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 11,10
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: EUR 3,43
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

6.

Deborah Mitford Duchess of Deborah Mitford Duchess of Devonshire, Charlotte Mosley
Editorial: St Martin s Press, United States (2011)
ISBN 10: 0312610645 ISBN 13: 9780312610647
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: 1
Librería
The Book Depository
(London, Reino Unido)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción St Martin s Press, United States, 2011. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS CHOICE Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire, is the youngest of the famously witty brood that includes the writers Jessica and Nancy. Wait for Me! chronicles her remarkable life, from an eccentric but happy childhood roaming the Oxfordshire countryside, to tea with her sister Unity and Adolf Hitler in 1937, to her marriage to Andrew Cavendish, the second son of the Duke of Devonshire. Written with intense warmth, charm, and perception, Wait for Me! is a unique portrait of an age of tumult, splendor, and change. Touching . . . moving . . . [and] compelling as a portrait of a vanishing world (The Wall Street Journal). Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780312610647

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 15,23
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: GRATIS
De Reino Unido a Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

7.

Deborah Mitford Duchess of Deborah Mitford Duchess of Devonshire, Charlotte Mosley
Editorial: St Martin s Press, United States (2011)
ISBN 10: 0312610645 ISBN 13: 9780312610647
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: 1
Librería
The Book Depository US
(London, Reino Unido)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción St Martin s Press, United States, 2011. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS CHOICE Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire, is the youngest of the famously witty brood that includes the writers Jessica and Nancy. Wait for Me! chronicles her remarkable life, from an eccentric but happy childhood roaming the Oxfordshire countryside, to tea with her sister Unity and Adolf Hitler in 1937, to her marriage to Andrew Cavendish, the second son of the Duke of Devonshire. Written with intense warmth, charm, and perception, Wait for Me! is a unique portrait of an age of tumult, splendor, and change. Touching . . . moving . . . [and] compelling as a portrait of a vanishing world (The Wall Street Journal). Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780312610647

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 15,23
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: GRATIS
De Reino Unido a Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

8.

Deborah Mitford Duchess of Deborah Mitford Duchess of Devonshire, Charlotte Mosley
Editorial: St Martin s Press, United States (2011)
ISBN 10: 0312610645 ISBN 13: 9780312610647
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: 10
Librería
Book Depository hard to find
(London, Reino Unido)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción St Martin s Press, United States, 2011. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. A NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS CHOICE Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire, is the youngest of the famously witty brood that includes the writers Jessica and Nancy. Wait for Me! chronicles her remarkable life, from an eccentric but happy childhood roaming the Oxfordshire countryside, to tea with her sister Unity and Adolf Hitler in 1937, to her marriage to Andrew Cavendish, the second son of the Duke of Devonshire. Written with intense warmth, charm, and perception, Wait for Me! is a unique portrait of an age of tumult, splendor, and change. Touching . . . moving . . . [and] compelling as a portrait of a vanishing world (The Wall Street Journal). Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780312610647

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 15,87
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: GRATIS
De Reino Unido a Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

9.

Deborah Mitford
Editorial: Picador (2011)
ISBN 10: 0312610645 ISBN 13: 9780312610647
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: 1
Librería
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Picador, 2011. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería 0312610645

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 14,19
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: EUR 2,57
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

10.

Mitford, Deborah
Editorial: Picador
ISBN 10: 0312610645 ISBN 13: 9780312610647
Nuevos PAPERBACK Cantidad: 2
Librería
Lakeside Books
(Benton Harbor, MI, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Picador. PAPERBACK. Estado de conservación: New. 0312610645 BRAND NEW, GIFT QUALITY! NOT OVERSTOCKS OR MARKED UP REMAINDERS! DIRECT FROM THE PUBLISHER!|0.85. Nº de ref. de la librería OTF-S-9780312610647

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 13,68
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: EUR 3,43
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

Existen otras copia(s) de este libro

Ver todos los resultados de su búsqueda