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The Pursuit of Love [Paperback]

Nancy Mitford , ZoŽ Heller
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 Nov 1999
Childhood at Alconleigh is scanty preparation for the realities of the outside world and Linda, sweetest and most aimless of the young Radletts, falls prey to a stuffy banker and a rabid communist before she finds her ideal in a Frenchman . . .


Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Impression edition (25 Nov 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140007113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140007114
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 11 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 312,396 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

Review

Utter, utter bliss (Daily Mail) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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. After the war she moved, with her husband, to Paris where she lived for the rest of her life. She followed the success of The Pursuit of Love with Love in a Cold Climate (1949) The Blessing (1951) and Don't Tell Alfred (1960), published together in Penguin as The Nancy Mitford Omnibus. 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Do We Marry for Love, or for "All This?" 25 Jan 2012
By Stephanie De Pue TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
"The Pursuit of Love," is among the most widely-read 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 British would probably still 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 were "brought up to marry,not fall in love,"Nancy once wrote. 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 (Penguin Modern Classics)two slender novels, only novella length really, that pretty well blew the whistle on society, and on the Mitfords.

For everyone agrees that the central family of these novels, the Radletts, are the Mitfords to the life.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Not just an evocation of a lost way of life, but of a lost people - not all of them nice people, but all hugely entertaining. Nancy Mitford is one of the most gifted comic novelists ever to put pen to paper and her talent for characterisation is without equal. So funny you'll cry laughing, but sweet and understandable too. Every teenage girl should read this - they'll understand what the girls in the novel are going through. Everyone else should read it anyway, because it's just so fab.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forget Bridget Jones.....Nancy was there first 24 Nov 2002
Format:Paperback
While our bookstores are still overrun with "girly" bridget jones (I am single and can't find love) like dribble. This is the classic girl book. Set in England in the aristocratic circles the story is about a girl who is indeed in the pursuit of love. For people who have read Hons and Rebels Jessica Mitford's memoir , family life in Nancy's book seems to have a lot in common with the real thing. The pursuit of love is sparkeling ,funny ,sweet and a delight too read. Leave that commercial nonsense at your bookstore and read a classic! Enjoy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
The Pursuit of Love is the 1st in the trilogy written by Nancy Mitford (the 2nd being Love in a Cold Climate and the 3rd Don't Tell Alfred).

Though Love in a Cold Climate is more famous and well-known, I think The Pursuit of Love is the best of the two novels. I found The Pursuit of Love extremely witty, very entertaining and roaring of laughter-funny. It very quickly became one of my favourite novels due to Nancy Mitford's very unique writing style and her exteremly lovable peculiar characters.

I especially loved the first half, when they were children, the picture Nancy Mitford drew of their growing up at Alconleigh with Uncle Matthew's booming voice, always hollering, with Linda's romantic fantasies and crying depression (her suicide attempt after her dog died, I know it should be sad, but that was one part I roared with laughter, it sounded so melodramatic coming from a child of 6 years or so :-D), so that part was such a hilarious, sarcasticly funny in a very realistic and English way.

Then when they were adults and lived their lives with their own husbands, families it became more of a drama, but Linda's character was very entertaining. She is like a butterfly flying from one flower to the other, always seeking the sun(=happily ever after love). She lived in a completely parallel, fantasy world of her own, she was as if she did not have one foot on the ground, head in the clouds, she was as far from reality as one could be.

Then the end.. great end. It suited the book, and left me with a lingering feeling.

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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Bizgen
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have to say I would never have paid such a large sum for this Kindle version if I hadn't been about to go on holiday, with the prospect of of having to discuss it the morning after my return with my book group. It did have a number of typos, although I managed to read through them happily enough, with an occasional wince.

The Pursuit of Love is new to me, although I am familiar with some of Nancy Mitford's other works. I enjoyed reading it enormously, parts of it were laugh-aloud funny, especially the description of the days spent at Alconleigh. It's amazing how little the family seem to be aware of the lives of the poor around them - to read the book, one would imagine that the only people in existence were the landed gentry. But reading it on a chick lit level, I found it a most entertaining book, and a comment on the times of upper social echelon of society.

It wasn't immediately clear to me that this was supposed to be Linda's story, not Fanny's. It wasn't until I was a considerable way through the book that Fanny announces this fact, somewhat to my disappointment, I have to admit. Fanny seems to me to be the most likeable of the characters, and it was with some disbelief that I realised that the most of the story was supposed to have been written from accounts that Linda gave of her shenanigans in France. In view of what happens in the end, I suppose it had to be Fanny's story, and the ending is what I liked least about the book.

However, I am now determined to read more of Mitford, but not at that price on Kindle - secondhand from my local charity shop!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars bitter humour, wit and aristo style but ultimately scarily hollow
I'd heard rave reviews of the Nancy Mitford books and so was eagerly anticipating unwrapping a delightful little treat of a book, something I could wrap myself up in and escape... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Essuelle
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pursuit of Love
In her lifetime, Nancy Mitford wrote eight novels - four published before the second world war and four afterwards. Read more
Published 5 months ago by S Riaz
5.0 out of 5 stars So much better than I expected
Heard the writer being discussed on the radio, so was curious and not disappointed. Its so droll, witty and well written. Will read more of her books.
Published 7 months ago by Jane Walby
4.0 out of 5 stars A novel rteflecting its time
A very enjoyable novel evocative of its time the characters are mostly over the top but this gives it its special humour.
Published 9 months ago by Robert Landeryou
4.0 out of 5 stars The Pursuit of Love
I bought this (kindle edition) to read for one of my book group sessions. I thoroughly enjoyed the book - had I known it was going to be such a good read, I would have bought it... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Sheila McGoran
4.0 out of 5 stars My first book by Nancy Mitford
Enterteining narrative, my first contact with the author. It did not disappointed me at all. Look forward to reading others by the same author.
Published 11 months ago by natercia lourenco
1.0 out of 5 stars Indictment of English Aristocracy
If you always thought that the English aristocracy were a bunch of adulterous, inbred, animal-murdering, cerebrally challenged xenophobes - then this is the book which proves you... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Katharine Ashley
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Picked up this book after reading a biography about the mitfords. There were lots of similarities from Nancy's own family. Read more
Published 13 months ago by green71
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
I absolutely love this book. You think its going to be about loads of posh people , all the hons and counter hons and it is but much more. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Sm Cresswell
5.0 out of 5 stars Always a masterpiece
Already own this in a book - now it's in my kindle library - simply because it is one of the few books you can come back to time and time again - the pleasure never palls and the... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Scribe
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