It was Nancy Mitford who led me to join Amnesty International. Not personally; she didn’t grasp my hand and suggest, in that cut glass Mitford accent, that I should check it out.
I read her novels and that led to reading about the Mitfords and Jessica Mitford’s autobiographical books, Hons and Rebels, and A Fine Old Conflict. After that, it wa a step to The American Prison Business. This was shelved in Guildford library with other books about penal systems, so I moved on to accounts of Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment, and Diary of A Chilean Concentration Camp. This last book described the horrors of the author’s incarceration in a matter-of-fact way that did more than any emotionally charged reports to appall and shock me. Continue reading