A joint presentation with Adrian Dickens of CircaAD Jewels
Deborah was the youngest of the notorious Mitford sisters and she grew up in the shadow of their exploits and scandals. She was known in her family as ‘Debo’ and was born at Asthall Manor in Oxfordshire. In 1941 she married Lord Andrew Cavendish, younger son of the Duke of Devonshire of Chatsworth. However, Andrew’s older brother William was killed in the war and he became heir to the dukedom, becoming 11th Duke of Devonshire in 1950. Debo therefore became a Duchess and in her role, she transformed Chatsworth, one of the great stately homes of England, making it a profitable business concern. She had seven children, although only three lived to be adults.
Debo, like many of her sisters, was a writer. She was a superb letter writer and her correspondence with Patrick Leigh Fermor has been published. She wrote memoirs and she wrote about Chatsworth. Susannah Fullerton tells the story of Debo’s remarkable life, resilient personality and her charm.
“The joy, pleasure and amusement she gave to so many, particularly through her books, as well as the contribution she made to Derbyshire throughout her time at Chatsworth, will not easily be forgotten and we shall miss her so very much.”
― Prince Charles, 25 September 2014
In her role as Duchess, Debo had access to the Devonshire jewels. Jewellery historian Adrian Dickens discusses some of the family pieces she wore and tells of how her unfaithful husband regularly gave her a brooch when he’d had an affair.
Enter the marvellous world of the Mitfords with this intriguing talk, full of hilarious anecdotes, and learn something more about the fabulous jewels worn by Debo, Duchess of Devonshire, last of the glorious Mitford Girls!
This video is a real treat! Recorded at a live presentation, it has been carefully edited to deliver the experience of being part of an audience and having the best seat in the house. It is about 70 minutes full of intriguing information about Her Grace, Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire who passed away in 2014. Buy it now and receive a link to view your video immediately.
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The life of Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire, was extraordinary from when she was a child, yet she was often described as being “very ordinary”. What do you think? Let’s discuss it here.
What an illuminating and fascinating lecture last night. Your research is so thorough. I could not see you at the end of the lecture to thank you. Wonderful crowd, so it was impossible to move about.
Thank you so much for your wonderful talk last night. My daughters and I thoroughly enjoyed both talks and loved the photos.
As others, I have been fascinated by The Mitfords for years, made pilgrimages to Swinbrook, the Church and graves, Chatsworth of course etc … but their story is always compelling.
I have just watched the video, the duet by Susannah and Adrian. What a triumph from both of them. Is there anything Susannah doesn’t know? The Mitford sisters and the Duchess’s jewels – spellbinding stuff.
I want to congratulate you on the way it presents, the interplay between the speakers and the slides is brilliant! I watched it for a second time with David, and we were both absolutely enthralled. So thank you for the opportunity to see it so faithfully even though we were unable to be present in person.
Thank you for a wonderful talk. As with all of your talks I’ve attended over the years it was interesting, informative and fun.
Thank you so much for your wonderful talk last night. My daughters and myself thoroughly enjoyed both talks and loved the photos.
Like others, I have been fascinated by The Mitfords for years, made pilgrimages to Swinbrook, the Church and graves, Chatsworth of course etc., but their story is always compelling.