Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh were possibly the funniest letter writers of their generation, and they kept up a regular correspondence from the time Mitford left England to live in Paris after World War II until Waugh’s death in 1966. I had always wondered why their correspondence had never been published in its entirety, for it would surely have made one of the most amusing collections ever put together.

Now the correspondence has been published at last, superbly edited by Charlotte Mosley. If one reads between the lines of her Introduction, the delay seems to have been due to the fact that a very large proportion of the material was potentially libelous: 80 percent of Mitford’s letters to Waugh, and 40 percent of his to her, were not even included in the writers’ individual collected letters. Now, more than thirty years after the correspondence came to an end, the vast majority of the letter...

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