Unity Mitford

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Unity Valkyrie Mitford (8 August 1914 – 28 May 1948) was a member of the aristocratic Mitford family, that traces its origins in Northumberland back to the eleventh century Norman settlement of England.[1] Unity's Mitford's sister Diana was married to Oswald Mosley, leader of British Union of Fascists.[1] In Britain and Germany, Unity was a prominent and public supporter of fascism and from 1936, a part of Hitler's inner circle of friends and confidants for five years.[2] Following declaration of World War II, Mitford attempted suicide, although subsequently doubt of the attempt was cast in the media, following the declassification of MI5 government documentation.[3]



Mitford was born in London, England to David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale, conceived in the town of Swastika, Ontario where her family had gold mines.[2][4] She came from a large family with five sisters and one brother. Her biographer, Jan Dalley, believes that, "Unity found life in her big family very difficult because she came after these cleverer, prettier, more accomplished sisters."[5] While another biographer, David Pryce-Jones, added: "If you come from a ruck of children in a large family, you’ve got to do something to assert your individuality, and I think through the experience of trying to force her way forward among the sisters and in the family, she decided that she was going to form a personality against everything".[5][6] Mitford appears to have turned to right-wing politics as a way to distinguish herself within the family. As Dalley states: "I think the desire to shock was very important, it was the way that she made herself special. When she discovered Nazism and discovered that it was a fantastic opportunity to shock everybody in England she’d discovered the best tease of all.[5][6]

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