Saturday, December 27, 2008

Lady Diana Mosley and Bridesheadophilia

My attention was drawn today to Duncan Fallowell's Telegraph review of The Pursuit of Laughter, a collection of bits and pieces of journalism and diary by the late unrepentant fascist Lady Diana Mosley, one of the idiotic Mitford girls. In life, the silly bitch was feted by newspapers and magazines despite her admiration for Hitler - who was guest of honour at her Berlin marriage to Oswald Mosley, the wartime British fascist leader. She didn't deny Hitler's personal responsibility for the Holocaust, which she regarded as most unfortunate, but the fuhrer had such lovely blue eyes, and he was so good at mimicry. Oh, the laughs.

Duncan asks: "How do you solve a problem like Diana?" The problem: though her views were repellent to most visiting writers and journalists, and others besides, she tended to charm their socks off. But of course. She was an aristocrat, a witty one too, and beautiful: she was a history-bauble celebrity, up there by association with some of the big names of the 20th century: no sin can quite dull the radiance of fame, particularly one rooted in the British upper class: its warm light, even if a little off-colour, enraptures the supplicant (and status-preoccupied) gazer who suffers from country piles and an over-reverence for hereditary foolishness. Call it Bridesheadophilia.

You solve a problem like Diana by choosing to ignore her, by making a decision not to read her because of the shit-stink in her aura. That simple.

12 comments:

The Awakening Stella Polari? said...

And who brought the article to MA`s attention ?

Hope the nutroast was ok?

The Wok now has a lid, you will be pleased to know. many thanks to you and `Mother`

An Aesthete's Lament said...

Bridesheadophilia is a bit of a mouthful ... I much prefer the comment made by Lady Mosley (I think), when in the 1980s there was a musical about the Mitford sisters ... she (or one of her siblings) called it "La Triviata" ...

Madame Arcati said...

La Triviata: yes, I like that - I think the Duke of Devonshire said that, husband of Deborah Mitford, of the musical.

I had thought to call it Marchmainia - the ludicrous cult of the Mosley/Mitfords among otherwise intelligent writers (of the pre-Barclays' Telegraph/Spectator) which reminds me of Charles Ryder's opportunist attachment to the aristocratic Marchmains in Brideshead. I'd like to think that La Triviata is the final judgement once we have nailed the British obsession with feral aristocracy.

Madame Arcati said...

Dear Stella - glad about the wok, and yes it was you who brought the review to my attention. "Mother" is most pleased and says keep the change.

The late Kenneth Williams said...

So, have you and Duncan fallen out (again)?

Madame Arcati said...

No, I don't have it infa-Duncan. I am commenting on the Mitford cult. His review considered the problems of being a friend or acquaintance of Diana Mosley (which he was) and he admitted he was lost for words when friends of his reminded him she was a Nazi.

Elvira said...

Firstly I want to be clear: NOTHING justifies becoming a Nazi, let alone unrepentant (dumb bitch). With this being said,

She became a fascist/nazi through her second husband Oswald Mosley, who, before meeting Diana Mitford (Guinnes) and

are you ready? 8-))

before, during and after being married to his first wife Lady Cynthia Curzon, had sex with every woman in the Curzon Family: older sister Mary Irene Curzon, his mother-in-law (Grace Curzon) and younger sister Lady Alexandra Metcalfe.

Diana Mitford very well could have been a knucklehead, but when I read about Oswald Mosley, I can’t help but be flabbergasted by this guy’s power to get women to do his will. That must have been one sweet cock! It seems he could have had the power of making them worship Satan (which he pretty much did).

Ms Baroque said...

Well, God knows I don't agree with all my friends' politics. Or religious views. Or taste in furniture. Some of them, I think their hairdressers should be done for fraud. But there is a line to be drawn.

I'm never sure, given the repugnance most people seem able to muster when thinking of the BNP, why the Mosleys are somehow almost respectable. Oswald Mosley was a deeply unpleasant, scary man. Who'd want to be friends with his adoring wife??

Duncan should maybe treat himself to a reflective moment in Cable Street, rather than allowing himself to continue in this bewitched and bewildered state.

Lady Buck said...

I recall Diana Mosley's turn on Desert Island Discs with Sue Lawley. Mosley was describing Hitler's blue eyes when Lawley lost it and asked: "What about the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis". Mitford replied: "Oh no, I don't think it was as many as that. I know it was much, much less." After a long pause, Lawley said: "Tell us about your fifth record, Lady Mosley."

Anonymous said...

The problem with this post is that it draws the very kind of interest you're trying to avoid. People send in thoughts and anecdotes and suddenly the "glittering Mitford girl" is alive again, who "dazzled pre-War society." Ignoring Diana Mosley properly would involve the removal of this posting. Burial is another way of saying: "out of sight". Over to you Madame - I'm hoping I don't get to see this contribution.

Madame Arcati said...

I would remove this posting if I were deluded enough to imagine that my blog is the centre of the universe and not just a little part of the great babble.

Elvira said...

Actually I would respond to Anon that posts like this protest and counteract comments that would inevitably arise throughout the times. There are still Nazi sympathizers (and many other hideous organizations) out there and if we meekly watch people bring up rosy stories of “fascinating” people that had a dark side and we just ignore it, we are, in a way, encouraging them.

Every opportunity is a good one to protests and standup to groups and individuals with such philosophies and remind them they are the minority to keep them at bay and educate the coming generations that “cuteness” will not keep you above the law.

Silence and not protesting is what escalated to the cruel treatment and execution of over 6MM and the suffering of so many more MM that we don’t even speak about, the people in all the allied countries that had to be hungry and withstand war when the situation got to unbearable/too in our face to continue ignoring and threatened the rest of society.