Mitford, Deborah (1920—)

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Mitford, Deborah (1920—)

English socialite, businesswoman, and duchess of Devonshire. Name variations: Debo. Born Deborah Vivian Mitford in 1920; daughter of David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale, and Sydney Bowles; sister of Nancy Mitford (1904–1973), Jessica Mitford (1917–1996), Diana Mitford (b. 1910), and Unity Mitford (1914–1948); married Andrew Cavendish, duke of Devonshire, on April 19, 1941 (his brother William marriedKathleen Kennedy , elder sister of John F.Kennedy); children: Emma Cavendish (b. 1943); Peregrine Cavendish (b. 1944); Sophia Cavendish (b. 1957); three other children died at birth.

Deborah Mitford was born in England in 1920, the daughter of Baron and Baroness Redesdale and the sister of Nancy Mitford, Jessica Mitford, Diana Mitford , and Unity Mitford . Unlike her rebellious sisters, Deborah Mitford avoided politics and became an entrepreneur, running food, book, and garden furniture shops at Chatsworth; she wrote one book about Chatsworth entitled The House. Annoyed once with her brother Tom, she remarked caustically, "This family consists of three giants [Nancy, Diana and Unity], three dwarfs [Pam, Jessica, and herself] and one brute."

sources and suggested reading:

Guinness, Jonathan and Catherine. The House of Mitford. London: Hutchinson, 1984.