In her beguiling memoir, Wait for Me!, Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire (and the youngest of the famously witty brood of writers, agitators, and icons), recounted her eventful life with wit and grace. All in One Basket collects the Duchess of Devonshire’s breezy, occasional writings and provides a disarming look at a life lived with great zest and originality.
All in One Basket combines two earlier collections, Counting My Chickens and Home to Roost, its sequel, which was never published in the United States. In these pages, we hear anecdotes about famous friends from Evelyn Waugh to John F. Kennedy; tales of struggle and success at Chatsworth, England's greatest stately home; and of course the tales of her beloved chickens, which the Duchess began raising as a child for pocket money. In All in One Basket, glamorous recollections happily coexist with practical insights into country life, and the result is a revelatory, intimate portrait of a woman described by The New York Times as a “national treasure.”
The first sentence of a diary given to a nine-year-old child at Christmas, written on New Year’s Day and kept faithfully till at least 10 January, was ‘got up, dressed, had breakfast’. The first sentence of a book is a different matter and very difficult indeed. I have been pondering over this for some time. I asked my sister Jessica what to do. She tells me that in America, if you pay some money, you can get advice as to how to begin and then go on to be a famous author. They say put down ‘the’ on a bit of paper, add some words, keep
"Mitford says she writes ‘solely in an effort to amuse,’ and amuse she does….Mitford writes about what she knows or remembers: country life, chickens, stately homes, gardening, and famous friends. Open Mitford’s book to peep into a vanishing world; keep turning the pages to laugh and learn a thing or two about birds, trees, and tiaras."---The Charleston Post and Courier