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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.

Gigondas Wed 01-May-13 18:17:09

It is getorf but the more I read her books the better I like it.

Badvoc Wed 01-May-13 18:17:59

Pursuit of love is my fave getorf.
That last line is a cracker.
So true and so sad.
And by far and away her most auto biographical novel.

Kasterborous Wed 01-May-13 18:37:17

I've ordered it its got : 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. Looking forward to reading it.

piprabbit Wed 01-May-13 18:38:37

If you enjoy the Mitfords, you might also like "Miss Pettigrew lives for a Day".

Repeatedlydoingthetwist Wed 01-May-13 19:36:01

Yes!! That's a fab book, I did enjoy it.

Love, love, love Miss Pettigrew. You might like, 'The Bolter' too (non-fiction).

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 01-May-13 20:51:06

Yes, agree it is autobiographical. Especially when Sauveterre goes away and she leans out the window and says goodbye, then goes and cries on the bed.

She didn't have much luck with men, nancy. There is a good book about her life with Palewski, called The Horror of Love.

Reading her book about Madame de Pompadour, makes the French court of Louis XV sound like Linda, Fanny et al.

Chubfuddler Wed 01-May-13 21:05:07

Mmmmmm Fabrice. Why don't I ever get picked up in a train station by someone who turns out to be fabulously wealthy duke?

Badvoc Wed 01-May-13 21:07:37

Hmmm...why is it that clever, smart, funny women like nancy (and Dorothy Parker for another) had such unhappy love lives?
Both tried suicide more than once, both ended up with men who did not love them and treated them badly.
Is it true that great talent necessitates great pain?

Chubfuddler Wed 01-May-13 21:11:08

Perhaps they're too romantically minded to be truly pragmatic about relationships and too intelligent not to notice that things aren't right. It just bad luck.

bassingtonffrench Wed 01-May-13 21:15:10

nancy mitford is fabulous, but i didn't get on at all with her historical biographies. Pursuit of Love is one of the best things I have ever read though.

love the wedding dress. Marriage not a great success though, as I recall?!

bassingtonffrench Wed 01-May-13 21:18:05

ah yes, that point has already been made I see.

She was a great writer, but perhaps she was unlucky in love because she was in fact not a very nice person? lots of accounts of her 'teasing' her sisters to tears and generally being awful?

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 01-May-13 21:21:02

She was a bit of a cow I think, her sister sums her up I think nicely in her autobiography, she could be wonderfully kind and also incdibly horrible, very generous as well as being very mean as well. Complex character really, but to be honest they all were, those sisters, it seems.

bassingtonffrench Wed 01-May-13 21:24:23

yes, which sister was that then?

god I really am a mitford groupie!

Chubfuddler Wed 01-May-13 21:25:41

Decca I think, the communist one. Jassy running off after Carey goon (or was it Gary coon?) in POL is based on her eloping with an unsuitable distant cousin

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 01-May-13 21:41:58

Sorry, Debo the Duchess of Devonshire, her autobiography Wait forMe

Chubfuddler Wed 01-May-13 21:46:17

Did I ever tell you about the time I met debo and she admired DS? I may have trotted that out a few times.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Wed 01-May-13 22:22:06

I love Nancy Mitford, she is very funny but also I think a more serious writer than she is generally given credit for.
Read the collected letters between her and Evelyn Waugh - but don't do it in a public place, unless you want people to stare at the crazy woman emitting snorts of hilarity every 2 minutes who will be you.'
I visited Swinbrook churchyard a while ago - paid respects to Nancy, snubbed horrible Nazi Diana.

TheCeejOfWinterfell Wed 01-May-13 23:53:10

'a rather unsuitable distant cousin' was the fabulously named Esmond Romilly, who I completely fell in love with too after reading Hons and Rebels.

I love Decca. I love them all, but the letters make it clear that they took no prisoners and were all very snidey as well as funny. I'd have been terrified of Nancy if I'd ever met her.

Badvoc Thu 02-May-13 08:02:44

I don't think one can like nancy as a person tbh.
She was utterly vile at times, and for no other reason than boredom or jealousy as far as I can see.
But her writing is sublime.
If only the reedesdales had believed in sending girls to school...they would all have been so much happier and less susceptible to the more radical ideas some of them espoused.

TheCeejOfWinterfell Thu 02-May-13 09:43:53

I love this thread.

I can say 'Do admit' without getting the hmm.

GetOrfMoiLand Thu 02-May-13 09:55:26

Chub yes I remember you saying that Debo complimented your baby but do tell again - I hope she is a lovely as she seems.

The only one who went to school was Unity - she was sacked for saying something sacrilegious iirc. And look what happened to her.

I know she is a deeply unpleasant character but the name - Unity Valkyrie - that is a wonderful name.

Badvoc Thu 02-May-13 10:05:30

All of them were a bit unpleasant IMHO, just in a different way.
Nancy was cruel, Diana was vain and facsist, unity was quite frankly unbalanced, decca was angry. Pam and debo seem to have been fairly normal, but both were very unlike their sisters and so were treated badly by them.
Tom died so young it's hard to know what he would have become.
Their mother was a very odd woman, unhappy in her marriage (she told nancy she nearly left with another man when she was 2 years old) and distant from her children.
She had some odd ideas about health too, refusing to vaccinate her children (this is pre mmr obv) and forcing a doctor to operate in nancy on the kitchen table!
Their father was a bully and had anger issues too. Boasted that he only ever read one book in his life (white fang).
Fascinating, though!

TheCeejOfWinterfell Thu 02-May-13 10:11:24

Didn't Unity add 'rot' onto a line in a poem that ended 'God wot'?


Badvoc Thu 02-May-13 10:12:01

I think so, yes smile

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