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John Davison "John Davison"

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Life in a Cold Climate: Nancy Mitford - A Portrait of a Contradictory Woman
Life in a Cold Climate: Nancy Mitford - A Portrait of a Contradictory Woman
by Laura Thompson
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Just wonderful, 1 Jan. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have read Laura Thompson's book three times in two years. I have also bought copies for friends and got mixed responses.

I find Ms Thompson's writing rather like eating your way through a box of the most amazing continental chocolates, every sentence surprising you with a new flavour.

She is however a writer with an agenda, and she doesn't mince words, which is great if you happen to agree with her. I found the swipes at the more humourless type of feminist very funny, but her dismissal of Rosamond Lehmann's spiritualism as "lunacy" frankly annoying [because it is the usual emotive dismissal-without-examination which calls itself rationalism]. Meanwhile a friend of mine probably agreed with Ms Thompson on Lehmann, but hated the book because of the fun at the expense of what Laura Thompson calls the "Crouch End Sisterhood".

Don't read this book until you have become fairly intimate with the Mitford story, or you will be quite lost. The book is discursive rather than factual, and anyone who has not read Selina Hastings' beautiful biography, Nancy's "The Pursuit of Love" and Jessica Mitford's "Hons and Rebels" will be wondering what the hell the author is going on about.

The pyschological insights are quite wonderful; even the book's detractors would have to admit this. One falls in love with so many of the protagonists, perhaps David Mitford above all.

And the final chapter is almost too painful to bear.


Verdi - Requiem / Price, Pavarotti, Cossotto, Ghiaurov, von Karajan, Teatro alla Scala [DVD] [2005]
Verdi - Requiem / Price, Pavarotti, Cossotto, Ghiaurov, von Karajan, Teatro alla Scala [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Herbert von Karajan
Price: £16.99

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars fantastic singing, shame about the camerwork, 20 Oct. 2007
This is an example of what happens when the enthusiasm of the director gets in the way of the art. A simple basic rule of filming singers is that the camera stays on the singer all the time they are singing. On this dvd Henri-Georges Clouzot constantly moves the camera off the singers half-way through the phrase. It's distracting and makes it impossible to focus properly on the music. Given that in this instance the singers include at least two of the greatest of the great, it's particularly distressing.


La Traviata: The Royal Opera House [DVD] [2005]
La Traviata: The Royal Opera House [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Angela Gheorghiu
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £17.15

13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great singing, problem with the sound, 11 Mar. 2007
Decca ought to consider whether using surround sound is really such a good idea. Surround sound tends to emphasise background noise. Add to this the tendency for modern systems to favour low-frequency sounds, and personally I find the scenes with chorus marred by a distracting clumping of feet and shuffling of bodies.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 10, 2009 10:30 PM BST


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