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Love in a Cold Climate [Paperback]

Nancy Mitford
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 Nov 1999
In one of the wittiest novels of them all, Nancy Mitford casts a finely gauged net to capture perfectly the foibles and fancies of the English upper class. Set in the privileged world of the county house party and the London season, the story of coldly beautiful Polly Hampton and her aristocratic parents is is a comedy of English manners between the wars by one of the most individual, beguiling and creative users of the language.

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Impression edition (25 Nov 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140009841
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140009842
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 202,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nancy Mitford was born in London on November 28 1904, daughter of the second Baron Redesdale, and the eldest of six girls. Her sisters included Lady Diana Mosley; Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire and Jessica, who immortalised the Mitford family in her autobiography Hons and Rebels. The Mitford sisters came of age during the Roaring Twenties and wartime in London, and were well known for their beauty, upper-class bohemianism or political allegiances. Nancy contributed columns to The Lady and the Sunday Times, as well as writing a series of popular novels including The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate, which detailed the high-society affairs of the six Radlett sisters. While working in London during the Blitz, Nancy met and fell in love with Gaston Palewski, General de Gaulle's chief of staff, and eventually moved to Paris to be near him. In the 1950s she began writing historical biographies - her life of Louis XIV, The Sun King, became an international bestseller. Nancy completed her last book, Frederick the Great, before she died of Hodgkin's disease on 30 June 1973.

Product Description


Entirely original, inimitable and irresistible (Philip Hensher Spectator) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Set in the privileged world of the country house party and the London season, 'Love in a Cold Climate' is a delicious comedy of English upper-class manners between the wars. With a gallery of unforgettable characters, and in her distinctively witty style, Nancy Mitford exposes the eccentricities and foibles of the aristocracy in their pursuit of amusement, gossip – and love.

--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty, moving and very funny 12 July 2012
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
More than a touch autobiographical, this is perhaps Nancy Mitford's most moving book. The writing is sublime, and the emotions completely heartfelt, especially the end of Linda's story.

Yes, the family is aristocratic, snobbish and enamoured of hunting, but they're also loving, witty and close ranks whenever anyone tries to prise them apart. Mitford is especially good at articulating the generation clash as she, her sisters, cousins and friends confront, side-step and sometimes overturn completely social conventions.

This is one of those books that you can return to again and again and it's still magical, moving and funny.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointed 20 Feb 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed this book. However, the kindle version is full of mistakes and inconsistencies which was very distracting and annoying.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Love in a Cold Climate is the 2nd in the trilogy written by Nancy Mitford (the 1st being The Pursuit of Love and the 3rd Don't Tell Alfred). I read it after The Pursuit of Love, and unfortunately the comparison doesn't favour Love in a Cold Climate: I found The Pursuit of Love wittier, more enteratining and roaring of laughter-funny. I'm sure that if I had read Love in a Cold Climate alone, I would have appreciated it more, because it is a wonderful, witty, funny and incredible book. I enjoyed it very much.

Nancy Mitford's writing style is very unique and highly enjoyable. Her dry wit and sarcastic humour reminded me sometimes of Jane Austen, the way she made fun of some of her ridiculous characters (Mrs. Elton in Emma, Mr. Collins or Lady Catherine de Bourgh in Pride and Prejudice).

Definitely worth reading, but check out The Pursuit of Love also, you won't regret it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love in a Cold Climate 20 Nov 2013
This humorous novel features some of the characters from The Pursuit of Love; most notably Fanny, friend of Linda Radlett and her family. In this book, Fanny recounts her friendship with Polly, the only and much beloved daughter of Lord and Lady Montdore. Sadly, as their only child is a girl, she cannot inherit their estate, which is entailed on the unknown Cedric Hampton, a distant relative from Nova Scotia.

When Polly makes a marriage which both shocks society and is totally against her mother's wishes, she is forced abroad. Fanny, now married to her beloved Alfred, an Oxford don, settles down to a life of comfortable domesticity. Yet, she still sees Lady Montdore, whose whole reason for living - to see her daughter advantageously married - has been taken from her. Suddenly, though, she finds a new lease of life with the arrival of the dreaded heir to Hampton...

This is, like all Nancy Mitford novels, uncompromising in its sharp and unsentimental humour. However, also like the best of her work, it is human and very moving. There are many types of love, but the best give people a reason for living and, in this novel, Mitford explores marriage, relationships and friendship with an unflinching honesty. Again, the Radlett family and Fanny's Uncle Davey, bring much of the humour to the pages, which is a joy to read.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have loved this hilarious book for 40 years and I looked forward to reading it on my new Kindle. What a disappointment to find Mitford's brilliant, precise prose has been filled with typos. It is unacceptable to pay 6.99 for such carelessness. I want my money back.
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5.0 out of 5 stars More Cedric please! 22 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
** spoiler alert ** I enjoyed this book immensely!

As a follow-on from The Pursuit of Love, Fanny once again narrates the love life of one of her relatives - though this time a rather distant relation. Set in the same time period as the Pursuit of love, it's amazing how one can seem so youthful and unapologeticly adolescent with ideals of love, and the other so much more mature.. and practical. In The Pursuit of Love, Fanny watches Linda from afar, and although she narrates Linda's story, Linda's voice is also very strong within the novel. With Love In A Cold Climate, it's almost reversed. Fanny narrates Polly's journey towards marriage, and the aftermath, but distinctly, Polly is mainly spoken of through Fanny's narration and the retelling of conversations through other characters, or she is conversing with Fanny herself. Polly's voice is dampened by the fact that we rarely hear her speak for herself. This reflects both the personalities of Linda and Polly in their own respective novels, but what the almost silence of Polly allows in Love In A Cold Climate is that we hear so much more about Fanny and her courtship and marriage with Alfred. We hear more about her family life and her thoughts, which I found to be a lot more interesting than Polly's affairs.

What I would have loved for there to be more of was the appearance of Cedric. I will admit that I purchased Mitford's novels because I wanted to read Love In a Cold Climate - I had heard that the character Cedric was inspired by Mitford's friend and Bright Young Thing, Stephen Tennant, who I am enamored with.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Pressure to Marry Well Was Always Great 25 Jan 2012
By Stephanie De Pue TOP 1000 REVIEWER
"Love in a Cold Climate," is certainly one of the most popular novels written by blue-blooded British author Nancy Mitford who was very popular in the earlier twentieth century. If you consider England between first and second world wars, few girls were as famous as the Mitfords, five beautiful daughters of a well-known upper class "county family" as you on this side of the pond would probably call them. Nancy, writer of the family, knew her debutante balls well. In fact, she later came up with a way to define English social class by defining speech as "U"for upper class; and "non-U" for those who weren't.

The Mitford girls, Nancy tells us, were "brought up to marry, not fall in love." Unfortunately, of the actual Mitford girls, only one did as she was expected to do. Deborah (Debo) married the eleventh Duke of Devonshire. Unity, however, hung around Germany, striking up warmer friendships with the Nazis, and expressing herself more forcefully in their support, than suited the British public. Diana went and married Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the British fascists, who was "detained" for WWII. Jessica ran off to Hollywood, no less, took American citizenship, and wrote the whistle-blowing American Way of Death, a heavily influential indictment of the funeral business. Nancy did marry an "Honorable," but then she turned around and published The Pursuit of Love, and LOVE IN A COLD CLIMATE, two slender novels, only novella length really, that pretty well blew the whistle on society, and on the novelist's family, the real-life Mitfords.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Outrageously funny.
Published 26 days ago by Mrs Berry
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
It is a tongue in cheek story of thin characters and great fun. It speeds along, tripping through the story with larger than life characters. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Julie Gogrty
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy reading
How the other half lived! An amusing ,if rather silly story but very readable and non demanding. Though one bookmby this author is probably enough.
Published 8 months ago by Dympna M. Kelly
1.0 out of 5 stars not the book i ordered...
unfortunately the book that arrived did not match the image the seller used. Although I don't always expect an exact match when ordering second hand books I would have appreciated... Read more
Published 12 months ago by alison
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Book
I had not read it for a long time so was delighted to be able to download it on to my Kindle. It had lost none of its magic
Published 13 months ago by anne harries
4.0 out of 5 stars Great light read
This is a very well written and witty book. It really shows the complete uselessness of the upper classes in the late nineteenth and early 20th century. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Mumdupegge
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull
Old fashion narrative style, soap type about love and romance, unable to read more than few pages, uninteresting plot, flat and boring.
Published 18 months ago by Blue
3.0 out of 5 stars dated
I find it very dated,I loved it when I was young . I don't think it has travelled well
It seems rather snobish
Published 18 months ago by Mrs. Ew Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Nancy Mitford
Nancy Mitford is an old favourite and I was pleased to reread a book which pleased me decades ago when I first read it. Read more
Published 19 months ago by MF
3.0 out of 5 stars LIACC
Hard to identify with the characters. Wittily written and sardonic but left me wishing that the characters were more engaging and 3-dimensional.
Published 20 months ago by Amazon Customer
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