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Nancy Mitford - Author

About the Author

Nancy Mitford (1904-1973) was born in London, the eldest child of the second Baron Redesdale. Her childhood in a large remote country house with her five sisters and one brother is recounted in the early chapters of The Pursuit of Love (1945), which according to the author, is largely autobiographical. Apart from being taught to ride and speak French, Nancy Mitford always claimed she never received a proper education. She started writing before her marriage in 1932 in order 'to relieve the boredom of the intervals between the recreations established by the social conventions of her world' and had written four novels, including Wigs on the Green (1935), before the success of The Pursuit of Love in 1945. After the war she moved to Paris where she lived for the rest of her life. She followed The Pursuit of Love with Love in a Cold Climate (1949), The Blessing (1951) and Don't Tell Alfred (1960). She also wrote four works of biography: Madame de Pompadour, first published to great acclaim in 1954, Voltaire in Love, The Sun King and Frederick the Great. As well as being a novelist and a biographer she also translated Madame de Lafayette's classic novel, La Princesse de Cleves, into English, and edited Noblesse Oblige, a collection of essays concerned with the behaviour of the English aristocracy and the idea of 'U' and 'non-U'. Nancy Mitford was awarded the CBE in 1972.

Featured books by Nancy Mitford

Other books by Nancy Mitford

Christmas Pudding

Christmas Pudding

Author: Nancy Mitford Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/11/2018

'Christmas Day was organized by Lady Bobbin with the thoroughness and attention to detail of a general leading his army into battle . . .' The formidable fox-hunter Lady Bobbin is holding a Christmas house party. Attendees include her rebellious daughter Philadelphia, a pompous suitor, a couple of children poring over newspaper death notices, and a dejected writer whose first serious novel has been declared the funniest book of the year. Add to the mix beautiful ex-courtesan Amabelle Fortescue and her guests staying in a neighbouring cottage and you have a ribald tale of true love and false fidelity, hijinks and low morals, not to mention the consumption of a considerable quantity of Christmas spirit. 'Utter, utter bliss' Daily Mail 'A dazzling comic delight' The Times 'Very funny, irresistible' Spectator

The Pursuit of Love

The Pursuit of Love

Author: Nancy Mitford, Zoe Heller Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/06/2018

Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love is one of the funniest, sharpest novels about love and growing up ever written. 'He was the great love of her life you know.' 'Oh, dulling,' said my mother, sadly, 'One always thinks that. Every, every time.' Longing for love, obsessed with weddings and let's not even mention the mysteries of sex, Linda and her sisters and cousin Fanny are on the hunt for the ideal lover. But finding the perfect match is much harder than any of the sisters had ever dreamed. Linda is first courted by a Tory MP and then becomes embroiled with a handsome but humourless communist, before she risks everything on a chance at real, head-over-heels love in war-torn Paris . . . 'Peerless' Zoe Heller

Christmas Pudding

Christmas Pudding

Author: Nancy Mitford Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/11/2017

A fun and festive tale by the author of The Pursuit of Love The formidable fox-hunting obsessed Lady Bobbin has put together a Christmas house party at Compton Bobbin, including her rebellious daughter Philadelphia, the girl's pompous suitor, a couple of children obsessed with newspaper death notices, and an aspiring writer whose deadly (in more ways than one) serious first novel has been acclaimed as the funniest book of the year, to his utter dismay. And then there is beautiful ex courtesan Amabelle Fortescue and her group of guests staying in a nearby cottage ... As the house parties starts to unravel, so the jokes increase: this is Nancy Mitford's second novel and one of her earliest forays into the world of the Bright Young Things.

The Complete Novels

The Complete Novels

Author: Nancy Mitford Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/11/2015

The Penguin Complete Novels of Nancy Mitford. Here in one volume are all eight of Nancy Mitford's sparklingly astute, hilarious and completely unputdownable novels: Highland Fling, Christmas Pudding, Wigs on the Green, Pigeon Pie, The Pursuit of Love, Love in a Cold Climate, The Blessing and Don't Tell Alfred. Published over a period of 30 years, they provide a wonderful glimpse of the bright young things of the thirties, forties, fifties and sixties in the city and in the shires; firmly ensconced at home or making a go of it abroad; and what the upper classes really got up to in peace and in war. 'Entirely original, inimitable and irresistible' Spectator 'Deliciously funny' Evelyn Waugh 'Utter, utter bliss' Daily Mail

Don't Tell Alfred

Don't Tell Alfred

Author: Nancy Mitford, Sophie Dahl Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/11/2015

Don't Tell Alfred is the wickedly funny sequel to Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate. 'I believe it would have been normal for me to have paid a visit to the outgoing ambassadress. However the said ambassadress had set up such an uninhibited wail when she knew she was to leave, proclaiming her misery to all and sundry and refusing so furiously to look on the bright side, that it was felt she might not be very nice to me.' Fanny is married to absent-minded Oxford don Alfred and content with her role as a plain, tweedy housewife. But overnight her life changes when Alfred is appointed English Ambassador to Paris. In the blink of an eye, Fanny's mixing with royalty, Rothschilds and Dior-clad wives, throwing cocktail parties and having every indiscreet remark printed in tomorrow's papers. But with the love lives of her new friends to organize, an aristocratic squatter who won't budge and the antics of her maverick sons to thwart, Fanny's far too busy to worry about the diplomatic crisis looming on the horizon. . . Don't Tell Alfred continues the histories of the characters Nancy Mitford introduced in The Pursuit of Love. 'A comic genius' Independent on Sunday 'Deliciously funny' Evelyn Waugh

The Blessing

The Blessing

Author: Nancy Mitford, Alex Kapranos Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/11/2015

The Blessing by Nancy Mitford It isn't just Nanny who finds it difficult in France when Grace and her young son Sigi are finally able to join her dashing aristocratic husband Charles-Edouard after the war. For Grace is out of her depth among the fashionably dressed and immaculately coiffured French women, and shocked by their relentless gossiping and bedhopping. When she discovers her husband's tendency to lust after every pretty girl he sees, it looks like trouble. And things get even more complicated when little Sigi steps in . . . The Blessing is a hilarious tale of love, fidelity, and the English abroad, tailored as brilliantly as a New Look Dior suit. 'Entirely original, inimitable and irresistible' Spectator 'Deliciously funny' Evelyn Waugh 'Utter, utter bliss' Daily Mail

Love in a Cold Climate

Love in a Cold Climate

Author: Nancy Mitford, Alan Cumming Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/11/2015

Love in a Cold Climate is the sequel to Nancy Mitford's bestselling novel The Pursuit of Love. 'How lovely - green velvet and silver. I call that a dream, so soft and delicious, too.' She rubbed a fold of the skirt against her cheek. 'Mine's silver lame, it smells like a bird cage when it gets hot but I do love it. Aren't you thankful evening skirts are long again?' Ah, the dresses! But oh, the monotony of the Season, with its endless run of glittering balls. Even fabulously fashionable Polly Hampton - with her startling good looks and excellent social connections - is beginning to wilt under the glare. Groomed for the perfect marriage by her mother, fearsome Lady Montdore, Polly instead scandalises society by declaring her love for her uncle 'Boy' Dougdale, the Lecherous Lecturer, and promptly eloping to France. But the consequences of this union no one could quite expect . . . Love in a Cold Climate is the wickedly funny follow-up to The Pursuit of Love. 'Entirely original, inimitable and irresistible' Philip Hensher, Spectator

Wigs on the Green

Wigs on the Green

Author: Nancy Mitford Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2015

Wigs on the Green by Nancy Mitford is a hilarious satire of the upper classes. Eugenia Malmains is one of the richest girls in England and an ardent supporter of Captain Jack and the Union Jackshirts; Noel and Jasper are both in search of an heiress (so much easier than trying to work for the money); Poppy and Marjorie are nursing lovelorn hearts; and the beautiful bourgeois Mrs Lace is on the prowl for someone near Eugenia's fabulous country home at Chalford, and much farce ensues. One of Nancy Mitford's earliest novels, Wigs on the Green has been out of print for nearly seventy-five years. Nancy's sisters Unity and Diana were furious with her for making fun of Diana's husband, Oswald Moseley, and his politics, and the book caused a rift between them all that endured for years. Nancy Mitford skewers her family and their beliefs with her customary jewelled barbs, but there is froth, comedy and heart here too. 'Deliciously funny' Evelyn Waugh

Englische Liebschaften

Englische Liebschaften

Author: Nancy Mitford Format: eBook Release Date: 11/11/2013

Nancy Mitfords schonster Roman, mit dem sie ein paar unvergessliche Prototypen der britischen Upper-Class schuf: Allen voran den exzentrischen Onkel Matthew, dessen reales Vorbild niemand anderes als Nancys eigener Vater war. Im Mittelpunkt der Geschichte steht jedoch die junge, unkonventionelle Linda Radlett, die in politisch bewegter Zeit von Liebe und Abenteuer, kurz: dem wahren Leben traumt - jenseits von Fuchstreibjagden und Five-O'Clock-Tea.

Landpartie mit drei Damen

Landpartie mit drei Damen

Author: Nancy Mitford Format: eBook Release Date: 12/04/2013

Chalford, eine idyllische Kleinstadt in den dreiiger Jahren. Eugenia, hoffnungsvolle Erbin des Malmain-Anwesens, macht ihrer Gromutter Kummer. Seit sie ihren treuen Begleiter "e;Reichshund"e; ruft, auf Waschzubern vor gelangweilten Hausfrauen faschistische Parolen skandiert und ihre Freunde mit erhobenem Arm begrut, furchtet die Gromutter um den Frieden in ihrem Haus. Erst als zwei junge Manner mit ausgezeichneten Manieren auftauchen, schopft sie Hoffnung. Oder sind Jasper und Noel nur auf eine Mitgift aus?

Liebe unter kaltem Himmel

Liebe unter kaltem Himmel

Author: Nancy Mitford Format: eBook Release Date: 12/04/2013

Nancy Mitford schrieb eine Reihe unvergesslicher Romane uber die feine britische Gesellschaft und ihre Abwege. Zu den schonsten gehort Liebe unter kaltem Himmel, die Geschichte der eigensinnigen jungen Polly, Erbin des Montdore-Anwesens und im heiratsfahigen Alter. Niemand anderes als der abgelegte Liebhaber ihrer Mutter, ein in die Jahre gekommener Don Juan, hat ihr den Kopf verdreht ... Ein erfrischendes Bumchen-wechsel-dich mit messerscharfen Dialogen und einem wunderbar exzentrischen Showdown. Debtantinnenball in London. Polly, Erbin des Montdore-Anwesens ist zart und hinreiend - interessiert sich aber nicht im Geringsten fr ihre betuchten Verehrer. Im Gegenteil, die junge Lady wird immer blasser, denn auf das Wort Verlobung reagiert sie allergisch: Niemand anderes als der abgelegte Liebhaber ihrer Mutter, ein in die Jahre gekommener Don Juan, hat ihr den Kopf verdreht. Es beginnt ein herrlich-absurdes Tauziehen, das den spleenigen Montdores nicht gerade zur Ehre gereicht. Nancy Mitford macht aus einer klassischen Gesellschaftssatire eine erfrischendes Bumchen-wechsel-dich mit prickelnden Dialogen und einem wunderbar exzentrischen Showdown.

Frederick the Great

Frederick the Great

Author: Nancy Mitford, Kate Williams Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/10/2011

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY KATE WILLIAMS Frederick II of Prussia attempted to escape his authoritarian father as a boy, but went on to become one of history's greatest rulers. He loved the flute, and devoted hours of study to the arts and French literature, forming a long-lasting but turbulent friendship with Voltaire. He was a military genius and enlarged the borders of his empire, but he also promoted religious tolerance, economic reform and laid the foundation for a united Germany. Nancy Mitford brings all these contradictions and achievements to sparkling life in an fascinating, intimate biography.

The Sun King

The Sun King

Author: Nancy Mitford, Stella Tillyard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/10/2011

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY STELLA TILLYARD During his reign Louis XIV was the most powerful king in Europe. He presided over a golden age of military and artistic achievement in France, and deployed his charm and talents for spin and intrigue to hold his court and country within his absolute control. The Sun King's universe centred on Versailles, a glittering palace from where Louis conducted his government and complex love affairs. Nancy Mitford describes the daily life of this splendid court in sumptuous detail, recreating the past in vivid colour.

Voltaire in Love

Voltaire in Love

Author: Nancy Mitford Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/10/2011

The meeting of Voltaire, successful financier, famous poet and troublemaker, and the enchanting amateur physicist and countess Emilie du Chatelet, was a meeting of both hearts and minds. In the Chateau de Cirey, the two brilliant intellects scandalised the French aristocracy with their passionate love affair and provoked revolutions both political and scientific with their groundbreaking work in literature, philosophy and physics. Nancy Mitford's account of the love affair of the Enlightenment is, in the author's own words, 'a shriek from beginning to end'.

Madame de Pompadour

Madame de Pompadour

Author: Nancy Mitford Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/10/2011

When Jeanne-Antoinette was nine, she was told by a fortune teller that she would one day become the mistress of the handsome young Louix XV - from that day she was groomed to become 'a morsel fit for a King'. Nancy Mitford lovingly tells the story of how the little girl rose, against a backdrop of savage social-climbing, intrigue, excess and high drama, to become the most powerful women of the eighteenth century French court, Le Pompadour.

Nancy Mitford

Nancy Mitford

Author: Nancy Mitford, Harold Acton, Diana Mosley Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/12/2009

What was Nancy Mitford's wicked sense of humour really like? The writer and poet Harold Acton was - like Nancy Mitford herself - one of the Bright Young Things and a life-long close friend with whom she stayed in touch from Paris and London. From the letters and materials she had been gathering for her autobiography, Acton draws an irresistibly sparkling portrait of the author of Love in a Cold Climate and The Pursuit of Love , who was so unhappy in love herself. Full of her waspish wit, gossip, and the drops of acid she liked to pour on the pretensions of her time, he paints a fresh portrait that is unlikely to be surpassed.

Love in a Cold Climate

Love in a Cold Climate

Author: Nancy Mitford, Alan Cumming Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/02/2000

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. 'Very funny ... inimitable and irresistible ... one of the most individual, beguiling and creative users of English this century' Philip Hensher