Unity Mitford – is she Liberty Barnham?

Unity Mitford was one of the famous Mitford sisters, a socialite from a rich Home Counties family, who grew up in the 1920s.
She went to finishing school in Munich in the late 1930s where she became a friend of Adolf Hitler and mixed with his inner circle. Shortly after war broke out, she tried to commit suicide and was later shepherded home to the UK with the permission of the German authorities.

Unity Mitford was one of the famous Mitford sisters, a socialite from a rich Home Counties family, who grew up in the 1920s.
She went to finishing school in Munich in the late 1930s where she became a friend of Adolf Hitler and mixed with his inner circle. Shortly after war broke out, she tried to commit suicide and was later shepherded home to the UK with the permission of the German authorities.

In an interesting reflection of what was to happen later in her life, Unity was born in 1914 in Swastika, Canada, where her family owned gold mines. Her father sat in the house of lords and she had five sisters and a brother. The family home was in Asthall, Oxon, although they also owned a large town house in Knightsbridge.

Unity’s sisters also led extraordinary lives: Diana married Oswald Mosley, who led the British Union of Fascists commonly known as the blackshirts; Jessica married Churchill’s nephew and became a well-known novelist; Deborah, also a writer, married into the Devonshires, owners of Chatsworth House.

Unity arrived in Germany in 1934, keen to meet Hitler, although the ‘chance meeting’ she yearned for required Unity to spend every spare minute in the German leader’s favourite restaurant, Osteria Bavaria until such time as the moment arrived. They spent a lunchtime chatting and she soon became a confidante, accompanying him to opera, speeches and even the 1936 Olympics.

The character Liberty in my novel Resolution is loosely based upon Unity and her experiences; I seek to understand what life must have been like from her perspective.


Sadly for Unity, things did not end well for her. While she survived the suicide attempt in 1939, she spent much of the rest of her life on a remote Scottish island before dying of meningitis in Oban, aged just 33. She is buried in Asthall.


My new novel Resolution is out now and can be bought herewww.amazon.co.uk/Resolution-secrets-between-English-discover/dp/B08N3NBNS7/ref=sr_1_1?

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