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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect read - witty, glamorous, funny, poignant
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...
Published on 19 Feb 2001

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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Full of typos, not worth a penny, let alone £6.99.
This brilliant book has been so carelessly converted to etext that the Kindle version is full of errors and will make you weep with frustration as you try to discern Mitford's prose through a haze of typos. This ebook is not of marketable quality and is definitely not worth paying£6.99 for. I suggest we should stick to old-fashioned paper books for now, until this has...
Published on 19 Mar 2011 by Ms P. Holden


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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect read - witty, glamorous, funny, poignant, 19 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Pursuit of Love (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If Jane Austen had written in the 1940s, she would have been Nancy Mitford, 18 Aug 2009
This review is from: The Pursuit of Love (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. Collins or Lady Catherine de Bourgh in Pride and Prejudice).

This was a brilliant book! Loved it, it had an interesting tone and was highly enjoyable, definitely recommend it! But don't expect some big romance novel, don't let the title fool you in that way. This is more a bittersweet, humourous and yet dramatic novel. But an amazing one!
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Full of typos, not worth a penny, let alone £6.99., 19 Mar 2011
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This brilliant book has been so carelessly converted to etext that the Kindle version is full of errors and will make you weep with frustration as you try to discern Mitford's prose through a haze of typos. This ebook is not of marketable quality and is definitely not worth paying£6.99 for. I suggest we should stick to old-fashioned paper books for now, until this has been sorted out.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forget Bridget Jones.....Nancy was there first, 24 Nov 2002
This review is from: The Pursuit of Love (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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13 of 15 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 (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Pursuit of Love (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. Eccentric, choleric father; vague amiable mother; clamorous, animal-loving, quicksilver charming children. PURSUIT follows the romantic fortunes of one Linda Radlett. The action is narrated by a cousin Fanny, who stays with them at Alconleigh, their Gloucester estate. Fanny seems to resemble Nancy Mitford a bit. But the heroine, Linda, the most beautiful and wayward daughter, who surely resembles Nancy quite a bit, gets most of the action. She falls first for a self-satisfied Conservative politician, then for a fire-breathing Communist, and finally for handsome Fabrice, a French duke. In fact our heroine Linda seems to have pursued love in most of the same places Nancy, her creator did, though she well knew what was expected of her.

How could she not? At one point, a powerful peeress advises Fanny, the narrator,"Don't you go marrying anybody, for love. Remember that love cannot last; it never, never does; but if you marry all this it's for your life. One day, don't forget,you'll be middle-aged and think what that must be like for a woman who can't have, say, a pair of diamond earrings. A woman of my age needs diamonds near her face, to give a sparkle. Then at mealtimes, sitting with all the unimportant people for ever and ever. And no car. Not a very nice prospect,you know."

But Fanny, our narrator, hardly seems to need warning. She remarks at one point, "Always be civil to the girls, you never know who they may marry," is an aphorism which has saved many an English spinster from being treated like an Indian widow."

On a deeper level, however, Fanny seems to reflect her creator's ambivalence on whether to marry for love, or "all this." But there's still substantial ambivalence on that question.

One of Nancy Mitford's most beloved novels, PURSUIT can be characterized as chick lit, of course, still it is a sparkling romantic comedy, bright and charming that vividly evokes the lost glamour of aristocratic life in England between the wars. It seems to pick up right where TV's Upstairs Downstairs - The Complete Series [DVD] [1971] left off. Not to mention Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies (Penguin Modern Classics), and Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder. Trust me, if you liked them, you'll love this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very lively and entertaining read, posh chick lit of the thirties, 4 Feb 2012
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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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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A family with its lovable but tyrannical paterfamilias, 8 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Pursuit of Love (Paperback)
The star of the show is Uncle Matthew, a man totally sure of himself and his place in the world, yet totally without arrogance or pretensions. He rules over the house with a rod of iron while his children and quasi adopted niece, Fanny (see also Don't Tell Alfred and Love in a Cold Climate) continually try the great man's patience. He has a view on everything and will not listen to contray opinions yet is intensely lovable as well. The sadness with which he is described as bring in tears after his only outing to the theatre to see Rome and Juliet is offset by his ludicrous criticisms "why did they have to die, the silly fools?". He mistrusts all foreigners having only ever ventured to France once, that being in 1914 and with purposes other than leisure on his mind. When the Kroesigs descend on his house prior to his daughter's marriage to their eldest, he is beside himself with paranoia as to what dirty tricks they might commit under his roof. When Davey blows the lights on their arrival the scene which ensues is undoubtedly one of the funniest ever written in English. His opinions of the Kroesigs can't possibly fall any lower, they have already disgusted him by their bourgeois manners and discussed such things as books "i don't read" and gardening at the diner table, but the next day he discovers that they eat breakfast in bed. This is the last straw, an affront to a man of action like Uncle Matthew, who rises at 5 and is out checking on his animals. He is rude "it's that hog, Merlin on the phone" he shouts to his wife without any attempt to conceal his contempt for Lord Merlin by covering the mouthpiece. He is a fearful snob "I overheard fanny saying writing paper" he says with withering scorn; education of girls is equally reprehensible, Fanny has been to school but in his eyes its effect is the loss of "every ounce of feminine charm". But he is kind too, showing great love for Fanny in his own way and to his own children too. He is a soft touch and his punishments never come to much, he always relents soon after the imposition of whatever penalty has been deemed necessary. "The thin end of the wedge" is how he puts it, but he can't stay angry for long.
The story is also one of the old order changing. While Uncle Mattehew is set in his ways, refusing even to eat in someone elses' house "why should I? Perfectly good food at home" and his wife, even in the 30's does not think of Surrey as the countryside, the world is changing. While Uncle Mathew goes to the House of Lords and votes whimsically on the issues of the day, his children run off the Spanish Civil War and try to change the world by direct action not aloofness or the use of the hereditary vote. Another daughter runs off to Hollywood and the family photographed in the first scene of the book is dissolved for ever. This is a wonderful book describing the changing social habits of the century, brought to life in the greatest fictional creations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pursuit of Love, 11 Nov 2013
By 
S Riaz "S Riaz" (England) - See all my reviews
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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. We move from the British countryside, through London, the Spanish Civil War and Paris; although Linda remains all but untouched by most events. She is insular, a little self obsessed and often appears cruel - especially to her daughter Moira. The scene where Moira is 'unveiled' to Fanny is so outrageously sharp in humour that I doubt a modern author would dare write it in fact. Nancy Mitford wrote of her world, and of the people in it, with an unerring eye and to read this is to read her at the heights of her powers as an author. It is sharp, witty, clever and moving - an author, in fact, who had grown up and understood herself and the world she lived in.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A novel rteflecting its time, 7 July 2013
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A very enjoyable novel evocative of its time the characters are mostly over the top but this gives it its special humour.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, 20 Feb 2013
By 
Sm Cresswell "writerpsych" (England Staffordshire) - See all my reviews
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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. And anyone can be a counter hon if they happen to fit in with the cousins' wildly inconsistent views. It's a really warm coming of age novel about eccentric people, beautifully portrayed with all their oddities, warts and all.
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The Pursuit of Love
The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford (Paperback - 4 Mar 2010)
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