By Diana Mitford

‘Beautifully written.’ Valerie Grove, the days ‘Martini-dry wit.’ Irish instances ‘Often natural Wodehouse.’ monetary occasions ‘Uncompromising.’ A.N. Wilson, Sunday Telegraph ‘It has all her charm.’ Laura Thompson, a superb learn, BBC Radio four ‘Brilliant.’ night typical ‘A lifetime of Contrasts is a candid, page-turning memoir, written by means of a girl who will—without any doubt—be seen by means of heritage as the most attention-grabbing personalities of the 20 th Century.’ Mary S. Lovell ‘Lady Mosley writes super well… Her ebook reads like tremendous speak; her characters stay and die in one phrase… An autobiography of actual distinction.' Jonathan Raban, Sunday occasions ‘I envy any reader coming for the 1st time to a lifetime of Contrasts, Diana Mosley’s account of her personal eventful previous, for he has an extraordinary deal with in entrance of him.’ Selina Hastings ‘Sharp, a laugh and well-written’ Hugh Thomas, New Statesman ‘Wholly if grittily, a Mitford book… the reader could be flung among satisfaction and dismay as he reads on… To all these no longer averse to a bit powdered glass of their Bombe shock: enjoy.’ the days ‘Other participants of the Mitford kinfolk should not have the monopoly of incredible and a laugh writing.’ The Tatler ‘She emerges between all else as feminine…’ Mary Warnock, The Listener ‘Animated and revealing.’ Hibernia ‘Witty and amusing.’ Catholic bring in ‘She used to be essentially a star.’ Anne de Courcy within the Viceroy’s Daughters The hilarious autobiography of the main glamorous of the brilliant younger issues. Diana Mitford describes within the inimitable Mitford manner the way it took place that either Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler cherished her, and Evelyn Waugh and Oswald Mosley fell in love with her.

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That Santayana was a precocious genius is evident from even a cursory reading of his early letters. Among the most interesting are those written in 1886 to his Harvard classmate, Henry Ward Abbot, while Santayana was pursuing graduate studies in philosophy in Germany. The maturity of view, intellectual acuteness, and power of expression in these letters are remarkable. Santayana’s perennial emphasis on the crucial importance of the Socratic principle of self-knowledge and the ethical doctrine of moral relativism7 characteristic of his most mature writings are nowhere more perfectly expressed than in the 6 October 1886 letter to Abbot written from Berlin when Santayana was not quite twenty-three years old.

But the letters provide considerable evidence that Santayana was capable of profound emotional attachments. l The Letters of George Santayana So far as we know, Santayana never had a romantic relationship with a woman, though there were several women with whom he enjoyed close friendship and lifelong correspondence. Mrs. Toy, Mrs. Potter, and Mrs. Winslow fit this description. And, until her death in 1928, Santayana’s elder half sister Susan was, in complex ways, the beloved woman in his life. However, Santayana—like Schopenhauer and Nietzsche—saw women as fundamentally different from men, as is illustrated by a 17 February 1887 letter to Henry Ward Abbot: A woman, for example, is despised in so far as she is a human individual competing with others for life, especially because her methods of competing are small and mean; but she is loved and even worshiped as the complement of man, as something filling out his life without sharing his qualities.

A special note of thanks is due to Professor J. Albert Robbins of Indiana University, who served as Chairman of the Committee on Manuscript Holdings of the American Literature Section of the Modern Language Association of America, in charge of gathering information for the updated edition of American Literary Manuscripts, an invaluable source of information regarding library manuscript holdings. Professor Robbins and his staff responded to my request, early in 1976, for additional information regarding the location of Santayana holograph letters in library collections, by undertaking a “hand search” of file data before their material was computerized sufficiently to make such a search less laborious.

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