JESSICA MITFORD - DOCUMENT SIGNED 05/12/1964 - HFSID 83104
JESSICA MITFORD The Communist "red sheep" of the famed Mitford sisters returns a filled out letter to friend, signs name in black ink Document signed: "Jessica Mitford/ 12 May, 1964 (Alas!)" in blue ink. 1 page, 8½x11. Document requesting comments regarding artist Rockwell Kent's 81st birthday. May 12, 1964.
Sale Price $324.00
The Communist "red sheep" of the famed Mitford sisters returns a filled out letter to friend, signs name in black ink
Document signed: "Jessica Mitford/ 12 May, 1964 (Alas!)" in blue ink. 1 page, 8½x11. Document requesting comments regarding artist Rockwell Kent's 81st birthday. May 12, 1964. Addressed to Mr. H.K. Thompson Jr. of New York City, New York. In full: "(This first comment is, frightfully sorry for delay of this reply to your letter of Nov. 18, 1963. I will spare you the boring story of why and how your letter got mislaid and why I've only just seen it.) Comments: People like Rockwell Kent are the Americans who attract rude immigrants like me to these shores. ("Rude", entendu, in the sense of rough and uneducated in the ways of.) We see them as beckoners to a newer, braver, better way of life, and we flock. (An exaggeration, perhaps, about flocking, but at least I flocked.) Happy birthday, Rockwell. Because of people like you, I'm glad I LIVE here. And because of you and our many mutual friends, I'm glad I don't have to spend the rest of my life writing in Europe. (Mr. Thompson, back to you: perhaps I should explain, after all. I was away for a few weeks. My dear family put all the letters received in that time in a drawer. I was just checking all drawers prior to going to write in Europe, when I came across them. So, took them on the train to answer, which I'm now doing. SORRY, AGAIN)". Jessica Mitford (1917-1996) was an English author, journalist, civil rights activist and political campaigner, famous for being one of the eminent Mitford sisters. The sixth of seven children, Jessica considered herself the "red sheep" of the family, a nickname she created due to her commitment to communism in a family full of fascists. She married her second cousin Esmond Romilly, a strict anti-fascist at the age of 19, and in 1939 the couple emigrated to the United States; they worked odd jobs and were perpetually short of money, and with the outset of WWII he joined the Canadian Royal Air Force, only to disappear in action two years later. It was then that Mitford threw herself into war work, meeting and married civil rights lawyer Robert Treuhaft in 1943 and settling in Oakland, California. In the 1950s the couple became very involved in the Communist Party, even being summoned to testify in front of the House Un-American Activiteis Committee during the "Red Scare"; it was during this time that Mitford wrote the pamphlet "Lifeitselfmanship or How to Become a Prescisely-Because Man" (1956) in response to her sister Nancy's book Noblesse Oblige on class distinctions in the British English language. Feeling that they could do more social justice outside the Communist Party, as well as becoming disillusioned with the development of communism in the Soviet Union, Mitford and her husband left the Party in 1958, and in 1960 she published her first book Hone and Rebels, a memoir covering her youth in the Redesdale household. She spent the 1960s working in investigative journalism, and persuaded by her husband, she began researching the unscrupulous business practices taking place in the funeral industry, culminating in her popular book The American Way of Death (1963). Her second memoir A Fine Old Conflict was published in 1977 and tried her hand at music as a singer for Decca and the Dectones, a cowbell and kazoo orchestra. Normal mailing folds. Light surface creases. Corners rounded. Slightly toned. Otherwise, fine condition.
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