However, the one who had seen nothing of the world becomes an autodidact - she takes up the torch Esmond left and participates in numerous marches in favour of African-Americans' civil rights, she organizes fundraising events to help the most underprivileged, physically opposes the Ku Klux Klan (she will be kept a whole night inside a church with several activists waiting for the police to dispatch the member of the KKK, an episode she relates but very briefly in her letters), all in all, goes in the streets to express her disappointment and works with her new husband, Robert Treuhaft, a lawyer, to defend African-Americans accused of all sorts of crimes, abandoned by justice (in her letters she explains that this is where the real work could be done on the field - in his notes, Peter Sussman explains that Robert and Jessica were in fact the only hope for some defendants, they went where even charities didn't go anymore, defending to the last difficult cases).
In Jo Rowling's words :
"My most influential writer, without a doubt, is Jessica Mitford. When my great-aunt gave me Hons and Rebels when I was 14, she instantly became my heroine. She ran away from home to fight in the Spanish Civil War, taking with her a camera that she had charged to her father's account. I wished I'd had the nerve to do something like that. I love the way she never outgrew some of her adolescent traits, remaining true to her politics – she was a self-taught socialist – throughout her life. I think I've read everything she wrote. I even called my daughter [Jessica Rowling Arantes] after her."