Captures the foibles and fancies of the English upper class. Set in the privileged world of the county house party and the London season, this is a comedy of English manners.
Nancy Mitford's Love in a Cold Climate and Other Novels casts a finely gauged net to capture perfectly the foibles and fancies of the English upper class, and includes an introduction by Philip Hensher in Penguin Modern Classics.Nancy Mitford's brilliantly witty, irreverent stories of the upper classes in pre-war London and Paris conjure up a world of glamour, gossip and decadence. In The Pursuit of Love, Love in a Cold Climate and The Blessing, her extraordinary heroines deal with armies of hilariously eccentric relatives, the excitement of love and passion, and the thrills of the social Season. But beneath the glittering surfaces and perfectly timed comic dialogue, Nancy Mitford's novels are also touching hymns to a lost era and to the brevity of life and love from one of the most individual, beguiling and creative users of the language.Nancy Mitford (1904-1973) was born in London. A member of one of the aristocracy's more eccentric families, and educated at home with a clutch of siblings, Mitford used childhood experience, lightly fictionalised, in her comic novels, including The Pursuit of Love (1945). She also wrote biographies, translated from the French and edited a celebrated symposium on English Aristocrats.If you enjoyed Love in a Cold Climate and Other Novels, you might like Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.
Born into one of the aristocracy's more eccentric families and educated at home with a clutch of siblings, Mitford used childhood experience, lightly fictionalised, in her comic novels. She also wrote biographies, translated from the French and edited a celebrated symposium on English Aristocrats.
With less of the charm and debonair gaiety of Pursuit of Love, this approximates more closely social satire and is a delicately devastating portrait of the British aristocracy. As told by Fanny Logan, the most natural note in the narrative, this concerns several families of imposing bloodlines and often erratic eccentricity, particularly the Montdores whose only daughter Polly is Fanny's close friend. Lady Montdore, with her gimlet eye toward the rest of the world and her aggrieved attitude towards Polly, is a redoubtable figure, while Polly, whose beauty does not conceal her indifference towards the men she should attract, is quietly hostile towards her mother's social and marital ambitions for her. With the death of her aunt, Polly marries her uncle, a tired reprobate, is promptly disinherited by the irate Lady Montdore. It is Cedric, a cousin from Nova Scotia, imported as Polly's successor, who- though a nance- brings back warmth and splendor to the Montdores' lonely lives, accomplishes Lady Montdore's radiant rejuvenation... A portrait of an era, a class, a tradition which is always amusing and accomplished- but which lacks the engaging, endearing (presumably more popular) qualities of the first. (Kirkus Reviews)
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