The Mitford Affair: A Novel
by Marie Benedict

Published: 2023-01-17T00:0
Hardcover : 352 pages
1 member reading this now
6 clubs reading this now
1 member has read this book
"Plunges readers into a world of glamorous, charismatic young British debutantes and then turns that shiny world on its head...the most delicious storytelling." --Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post

From New York Times bestselling ...

No other editions available.
Add to Club Selections
Add to Possible Club Selections
Add to My Personal Queue
Jump to


"Plunges readers into a world of glamorous, charismatic young British debutantes and then turns that shiny world on its head...the most delicious storytelling." --Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post

From New York Times bestselling author Marie Benedict comes an explosive novel of history's most notorious sisters, one of whom will have to choose: her country or her family?

Between the World Wars, the six Mitford sisters?each more beautiful, brilliant, and eccentric than the next?dominate the English political, literary, and social scenes. Though they've weathered scandals before, the family falls into disarray when Diana divorces her wealthy husband to marry a fascist leader and Unity follows her sister's lead all the way to Munich, inciting rumors that she's become Hitler's mistress.

As the Nazis rise in power, novelist Nancy Mitford grows suspicious of her sisters' constant visits to Germany and the high-ranking fascist company they keep. When she overhears alarming conversations and uncovers disquieting documents, Nancy must make excruciating choices as Great Britain goes to war with Germany.

Probing the torrid political climate in the lead-up to World War II and the ways that seemingly sensible people can be sucked into radical action, The Mitford Affair follows Nancy's valiant efforts to stop the Nazis from taking over Great Britain, and the complicated choices she must make between the personal and the political.

Also By Marie Benedict: The Other Einstein Carnegie's Maid The Only Woman in the Room Lady Clementine The Mystery of Mrs. Christie Her Hidden Genius

Editorial Review

No Editorial Review Currently Available


No Excerpt Currently Available

Discussion Questions

1. Before reading The Mitford Affair, were you familiar with the famous (or infamous, depending on your perspective) Mitford sisters? If so, how has your understanding of these eccentric, beautiful, aristocratic sisters changed, if at all?

2. Nancy is concerned that Diana is considering divorce, particularly because her new partner will not be leaving his own marriage. Why is Nancy so concerned? What is behind Diana’s decision?

3. Unity thinks that the only thing that distinguishes her from her sisters is her awkwardness. What are her strengths? Why don’t others notice them?

4. Nicknames abound among the Mitford sisters. What purposes do these names serve?

5. What was the appeal of fascist rhetoric for people in Britain, and people like Diana and Unity in particular? What promises did the BUF make? Had they attained power, would they have been able to keep those promises?

6. Diana and Unity are reprimanded for attending the Nuremberg rally wearing bright lipstick. How were German beauty standards shaped by fascist ideas? What social issues are reflected in our modern beauty trends?

7. How do Nancy’s concerns about privacy, reputation, and loyalty affect her conversations with her sisters? What finally goads her into taking a more active role against their dangerous beliefs?

8. While waiting to hear if she’ll see Hitler during her time in Berlin, Diana has a moment of self-reflection and doubt that startles her. How do you think the events of the book would be different if she questioned herself more?

9. On a couple of occasions, as she tries to make sense of her sister’s decisions against the complicated, incendiary developments happening across Europe, Nancy observes that political decisions are often based on personal motivations. What do you think this means in the context of Diana and Unity? Do you think that observation applies in modern times?

10. Though Nancy is clever enough to understand the danger of the radio station documents, her loyalty to Diana wins out for a long time. How does that compare to Diana’s treatment of Unity?

11. Nancy asks herself, “Does [a single motivation] matter as long as we think we are acting on the side of right and truth? Or must we be on the actual side of right?” How would you answer those questions?

12. In the final chapter, Nancy suggests that she may have misappre- hended her sisters’ actions and the reasons underpinning them. Did this make you reassess the chapters attributed to Diana and Unity throughout the book? Is it possible that those accounts do not reflect what actually transpired (in the fictional world of The Mitford Affair) but Nancy’s presumptions and projections about her sisters’ activities based on her own, very personal beliefs?

From the publisher

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
There are no user reviews at this time.
Rate this book
Remember me

Now serving over 80,000 book clubs & ready to welcome yours. Join us and get the Top Book Club Picks of 2022 (so far).



Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...