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The Pursuit of Love Paperback – 25 Nov 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Impression edition (25 Nov. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140007113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140007114
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.4 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 444,966 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

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bizgen on 4 Feb. 2012
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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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Feb. 2001
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In her lifetime, Nancy Mitford wrote eight novels - four published before the second world war and four afterwards. This is her first post-war novel, published in 1945 and shows an author with a new sense of maturity and depth to her. In fact, a woman who had herself fallen in love (if you are interested in reading about the love affair which this novel is based on, you might want to look at the wonderful The Horror of Love). In fact, this is probably the most autobiographical of Mitford's novels and is full of scenes from her childhood and Mitford slang (Hon and Counter-Hon being good examples). There are also many real life people who she uses from her aristocratic world, along with friends and family, for example our narrator, Fanny, is the daughter of the notorious Bolter, based on The Bolter: Idina Sackville - The Woman Who Scandalised 1920s Society and Became White Mischief's Infamous Seductress.

Although it is fascinating to pick novels apart, of course, even if you know nothing about the Mitfords, or their world, this is a wonderful story in its own right. Fanny, who has been virtually abandoned by her parents, is brought up by her loving Aunt Emily and stays often with her cousins, the Radlett family. They are minor aristocracy, with their own family lore and an obsessive love of animals. Fanny's cousin and closest friend as a child is Linda. This story follows Linda's life, through her first marriage to banker Tony Kroesig, a brief interlude with communist Christian Talbot and then to the love of her life, Fabrice Sauveterre.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs Madrigal on 18 May 2010
Format: Paperback
Nancy Mitford (1904 - 1973) was the eldest daughter of the seven children of Lord and Lady Redesdale and lived a privileged life. She and her five sisters (known as The Mitford Girls) all became well known in their own individual ways and Nancy became a writer. The Pursuit of Love, perhaps the most well known of her novels, along with Love in a Cold Climate, was based on her own family. It is an amusing, affectionate send-up of an aristocratic and eccentric family in the years between the wars and many of the characters are based on the real members of the family and their friends. Aunt Sadie and Uncle Matt are based on Lord and Lady Redesdale and Linda, the main character, is based on Nancy herself. I enjoyed the book but have to admit that I got a bit waylaid as I started re-reading the biography by Mary Lovell, The Mitford Girls, at the same time and should not have tried to do both at once. If you're anything like me and especially if you don't know much about the Mitfords, prepare to be hooked.
Here's a bit to whet your appetite: "My Uncle Matthew had four magificent bloodhounds,with which he used to hunt his children. Two of us would go off with a good start to lay the trail and Uncle Matthew and the rest would follow the hounds on horseback. It was great fun.Once he....hunted Linda and me over Shenley Common. This caused the most tremendous stir locally,the Kentish weekenders on the way to church were appalled by the sight of four great hounds in full cry after two little girls."
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