A Portrait of a Contradictory Woman.
'I have received a rain of anonymous letters,' wrote Nancy Mitford to her friend, Lady Diana Cooper, when a rather daring French play that she had translated was performed on the West End stage in 1950. "Who are you, anyway?" one began. So hard to answer really!'
For Nancy Mitford was, as her sister Lady Diana Mosley says, 'very very complex'. Her highly autobiographical early novels, the biographies and novels of her more mature French period, her journalism and the vast body of letters to her family, to friends such as Evelyn Waugh and to the great love of her life, the French politician Gaston Palewski, tell an intriguing story.
Drawing from these, as well as from conversations with people who knew Mitford - notably her two surviving sisters - Laura Thompson has fashioned a portrait of a contradictory and courageous woman.
Nancy Mitford was a woman who expressed anti-feminist views while living a life of financial and emotional independence, who believed profoundly in marriage and family yet grew to value work and solitude, who was definitively English yet only truly blossomed after her move to France.
Approaching her subject with, perspicacity and huge affection, prize-winning author Laura Thompson, like Mitford, makes her serious points lightly, eschewing cliches about the eccentricities of the Mitford clan.
This book will fascinate anyone interested in Nancy Mitford's circle and the world of her novels, which say so much about their author and yet only hint at the many sorrows she stoically endured. 'Life In A Cold Climate' is full of the sound of Mitfordian laughter, but also tells the often paradoxical and complex story beneath the smiling and ever elegant facade.
- Publication Date:
- 10 / 04 / 2003
- 153 x 234mm