Has anyone read Nancy Mitford's books?

(82 Posts)
Kasterborous Wed 01-May-13 16:32:33

I was wondering if anyone has read them and would have an idea if I would like them or not. My favourite recent reads have been some of Kate Atkinson's books and Kate Morton, they are some of my favourites. I've seen they have got an omnibus edition of Nancy Mitford on Amazon at a good price and would keep me going for a while.

joanofarchitrave Wed 08-May-13 23:32:49

Agree Maitre.

I watched about 15 minutes of the most recent adaptation and lunged for the off button as it was truly awful. The worst bit was the addition of lots of reaction shots of people laughing uproariously at the jokes. Nancy Mitford almost never writes reaction to her jokes into the dialogue, she just writes funny lines. Either you laugh or you don't, what's the point of adding someone in a funny hat going 'ha ha ha'.

MaitreKarlsson Wed 08-May-13 23:56:11

Don't think I saw that one...I liked the one a few years back which mingled the two main books which had Rosamund Pike as Fanny and Megan Dodds as Polly...actually that was pre-reading the books, was my introduction to them.
Very evocative of pre-war and a different world. Always think it is interesting that Fanny and her Don lead such a calm quiet life in comparison to the Radletts/Montdores and wonder if that's what Mitford envied in some way, rather different from her marital experience/affairs.
The biography of The Bolter is also worth reading. By Frances Osborne. Some of the detail is similar.

joanofarchitrave Thu 09-May-13 00:11:53

I'd agree about Fanny's life. Nancy Mitford's characters remind me of Elizabeth Jane Howard's, in that she seems to peel off slices of herself to make into full people... the love-obsessed part of her that ran away from her husband and lived and loved in France, and the sensible part of her that attempted to live as a housewife in Oxford, all quite real on the page IMO. I think it was a fantastic tease to turn Decca's life into marriage with 'a little man like a nut' and to turn Diana into Cedric.

MaitreKarlsson Thu 09-May-13 07:09:45

Ah...didn't realise the Diana-Cedric connection! Makes sense! Thanks...

OscarandLulu Mon 13-May-13 19:10:03

I am one week away from baby no. 3 and have just bought Wigs on the Green as is just about the only thing I can read right now ... I LOVE this thread, and have to confess that if baby no. 3 is in fact a girl, which it wont be, it will be named after Nancy ....also swooning at Debo story earlier, I would have loved to have met any of them, they are all fascinating including Diana and Unity in their madness, and think Debo should do private audience with gals on this thread to answer all those intimate qu's... do you think Mumsnet can oblige ???? X

joanofarchitrave Mon 13-May-13 21:13:06

oh i don't know if diana is really cedric... just my pet theory... smile

TheSmallClanger Fri 17-May-13 13:52:03

I've always thought Cedric was one of Nancy's early "fiances" who were actually gay - one of them was called Hamish Something, and I think she may have "dated" Lytton Strachey.

She had very inappropriate taste in men and normally went for ones who weren't really there for the taking, due to their sexuality or marital status. I don't understand how her husband Peter Rodd fits into this, but I suspect she was under a lot of pressure to pair up legitimately. She was nearly 30 when she married him.

There are bits of Diana in Linda and Polly Montdore, and in the two runaway Ladies in Wigs on the Green. Eugenia in that book is a hardly-disguised Unity.

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