Diana Mitford cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Diana Mitford

British fascist, writer and editor

1910   -   2003

country of citizenship: United Kingdom, United States of America
language of expression: English
occupation: journalist, diarist, editor, biographer, writer, critic

Diana, the Hon. Lady Mosley (17 June 1910 – 11 August 2003), born Diana Freeman-Mitford and usually known as Diana Mitford, was one of the Mitford sisters. She was first married to Bryan Walter Guinness, heir to the barony of Moyne, and with whom she was part of the Bright young things social group of Bohemian young aristocrats and socialites in 1920s London. Her marriage ended in divorce as she was pursuing a relationship with Sir Oswald Mosley, 6th Baronet of Ancoats, leader of the British Union of Fascists. She married Mosley at the home of Joseph Goebbels in 1936, with Adolf Hitler as guest of honour. Subsequently, her involvement with Fascist political causes resulted in three years' internment during the Second World War. She later moved to Paris and enjoyed some success as a writer. In the 1950s she contributed diaries to Tatler and edited the magazine The European. In 1977, she published her autobiography, A Life of Contrasts, and two more biographies in the 1980s. Her appearance on the BBC's Desert Island Discs in 1989 was controversial. She was also a regular book reviewer for Books & Bookmen and later at The Evening Standard in the 1990s. A family friend, James Lees-Milne, wrote of her beauty, "She was the nearest thing to Botticelli's Venus that I have ever seen". She was described as "unrepentant" about her previous political associations by obituary writers such as the historian Andrew Roberts.
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