1 November 2022 admin-Cheryl

Dates To Save

Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire

Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire

I am feeling very excited about the evening I have planned with jewellery historian Adrian Dickens on Debo Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire and her Jewels. I’ll be talking about the life of the youngest Mitford, and Adrian will show us some of her amazing collection of jewels. Did you know that every time her husband, the Duke, had an affair, he’d give his wife another nice piece of jewellery?

So join us at Woollahra Library, 5 for 5.30pm on 29 November 2022, for two illustrated talks, gin and tonics, wine, and delicious chicken sandwiches. (Debo’s association with chickens will also be revealed). Book now, there are still some seats available – please visit https://www.trybooking.com/CDCFP

Georgette Heyer, Regency novelist supreme

Along with my friend Amanda Jones, I have organised three fabulous conferences on Georgette Heyer, Regency novelist supreme. Well, another one is planned for next year, on Saturday 2nd September 2023. We are already lining up some wonderful speakers.

This is just a ‘save the date’, I’ll let you know more information about bookings, venue, etc, next year.

Are you a Mitfords fan? Did you attend our last Georgette Heyer conference? Tell me here in a comment.

I love the society’s logo, which depicts Johnson imitating a kangaroo. He heard about the creature from Joseph Banks (later Sir Joseph Banks) and Johnson astonished the group then present by rising from his seat and attempting to imitate this strange creature. The logo was drawn by cartoonist and print-maker John Spooner.

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Featured image- Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire, photographed by Cecil Beaton in 1950, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/fatal-attractions-the-youngest-mitford-sister-tells-her-story-nqjf5tl9fsz

Comments (18)

  1. Louise

    I received the book The Mitford Girls by Mary S Lovell for my birthday in September this year. It’s all new to me and I’m keen to learn all about them. I’m a Victorian so will keep an eye out for any dates you book in Victoria.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      The Mitfords are wonderfully addictive. Do listen to audio recordings of Nancy’s ‘The Pursuit of Love’ and ‘Love in a Cold Climate’ – fabulous!
      I might well be doing the event with Adrian on Debo in Melbourne in Feb, so keep an eye on my newsletter.

  2. Carol Hampson

    Susannah – sadly I can’t attend your event but I have loved the Mitford sisters since reading Mary S. Lovell’s biography of the family 20years ago. I have on audio books The Pursuit of Love, Love In a Cold Climate and Don’t Tell Alfred, all by Nancy. I listen to them over and over on nights I can’t sleep and love them all. If I drift off to sleep I know them so well it doesn’t matter if I miss some that time around. They are so comforting.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Those audio books are sheer delight! I agree that they are wonderfully comforting. Reading about those amazing sisters is always fascainting. I recently loved ‘Take Six Girls’ by Laura Thompson.

    • Ada Cable

      Hello Susannah,
      I thoroughly enjoyed reading Debo’s memoirs, Wait for Me and also have a book about the gardens at Chatsworth.
      We visited the estate in the 1970s ‘anonymously’.
      My husband is from another branch on the Devonshire tree, born Delmar-Cavendish, 21st in line for the Dukedom. No jewels have come my way so far!

      • Susannah Fullerton

        That’s sad you didn’t get any of the jewels. I share your love of the Mitfords and mine also started with that biography.
        It seems the talks on Debo and her jewels will be recorded, so keep an eye on my monthly newsletter and it will keep you posteed.

  3. Marie Nesbitt

    Hi Susannah unfortunately I cannot attend your talk on Debo. The Mitford girls are my favourite British family. I would love to listen ( buy) your recording
    Marie Nesbitt

    • Susannah Fullerton

      The Mitfords are so endlessley fascinating, aren’t they! We are thinking about recording the talk, so keep an eye on my newsletter for that.

  4. Marie Dawson

    Hi Susannah
    I so hope you are bringing the Duchess of Devonshire & Adrian to Brisbane 🙏
    Please do
    I was one of a team of nurses who cared for a Duchess of Devonshire in 1966 – in a house in Charles st just off Berkeley Square
    Her devoted maid showed me newspaper clippings of her wedding day when the postilion had difficulty getting through the crowds who came out to see her
    She was the Diana of her day I have since read?
    Would it have been Debo Mitford?
    I was newly graduated from Sydney Hospital so a very junior member of the team – on the night shift

    I was awfully disappointed when I didn’t get to be one of the team who went to Chatsworth

    I hope to see you in Brisbane 🤞

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Thanks for your interest, Marie. Adrian and I have just started on a series of talks and as yet don’t have plans to do them in Brisbane, but it’s a good idea that we can consider. We may be recording the Debo one and if so, it will be for sale through my website.
      All the Mitfords were of media interest in their day. Debo married in the 1940s, during the war. She was marrying into a titled family (though she did not then know her husband would become a Duke) so I imagine the crowds were out to see her. She never had the sort of celebrity status of Princess Diane though.
      Keep an eye on my newsletter for a recorded version of the talk and for all my other talks.

  5. Denise Young

    Is that black and white photograph in your email Georette Heyer – you didn’t say?

  6. Debra Roush

    Hi, Susannah, it was lovely to see you in Victoria! I am really enjoying “Happily Ever After.” Yes, I am very interested in the Mitfords, and especially Debo, my namesake. My jewelry collection cannot rival hers, though, because I picked a better (if poorer) husband. Best always, Debra

    • Merrowyn Deacon

      Hello Susannah.I first read Georgette Heyer when I was 15.I got the book as a school prize in 2nd form @ High School and have been a fan ever since. She even mentions Mrs. Piozzi in one of her Bath novels. So she certainly knew the 18th Century,writing about “minor” writers such as Hester Thrale-Piozzi. As you know, I have written lots about this lady and friend of Samuel Johnson, so the fact that Heyer mentioned her really impressed me. Also great fan of the Mitfords…Nancy in particular, but went to Chatsworth specially while working on Hester manuscripts in the Rylands Library, Manchester. What a wonderful place that is! Merrowyn.

      • Susannah Fullerton

        I am so glad you share my enjoyment of Georgette Heyer’s novels. Yes, she knew the 18thC and regency periods really well. I’d forgotten about the Mrs Piozzi reference. Is it in Bath Tangle’?

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Yes, better to have a nice and faithful husband than to have the jewels!!!
      Great to see you!

      • Margi Abraham

        Definitely a Mitford fan. I recently found a 1952 copy of The Blessing by Nancy Mitford with its original jacket designed by Cecil Beaton in a second hand book shop in Newcastle. Loved every moment of it and now it on my “treasures” book shelf.
        I would love to go to Chatsworth one day……

        • Susannah Fullerton

          Oh you are lucky to have that special copy! Chatsworth is an amazing palce and Debo did such a wonderful job as chateleine there.
          See you soon in NZ!

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