Customer Reviews


10 Reviews
5 star:
 (7)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to dip in and out of.
This is one of those rare books that actually changes you slightly. You can feel Nancy Mitford's effervescent love of life and a man she was destined not to have (not Waugh, read the book). Waugh's bitter humour and at times almost violently zealous faith (ex-agnostics are always the worst, aren't they?) are transformed over time into the inconveniences of old age and...
Published on 21 Aug. 2003 by Mr. Gavin H. Morris

versus
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A polite exchange
I am a massive fan of the Mitfords and of their correspondence which has been superbly edited by Charlotte Mosley, however, this book is a light and easy read, quite possible to finish in one sitting as there are little editorial or biographical notes. I did expect a much more livelier exchange between Mitford and Waugh, however, their letters are quite polite and...
Published on 12 May 2012 by LS


Most Helpful First | Newest First

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to dip in and out of., 21 Aug. 2003
By 
This is one of those rare books that actually changes you slightly. You can feel Nancy Mitford's effervescent love of life and a man she was destined not to have (not Waugh, read the book). Waugh's bitter humour and at times almost violently zealous faith (ex-agnostics are always the worst, aren't they?) are transformed over time into the inconveniences of old age and the beginnings of uncertainty.
Waugh's characters are here, only slightly less alive for being real than they are in his retelling of them.
By Today's standards both Mitford and Waugh would be considered bigots, racists and terrible snobs - part of all that was wrong with old England. This book raises the possibility that we may have thrown the baby out with the bath water. There's another world here, another view altogether, and it's not all bad.
The book fulfills many functions. It's a record of the mid 20th Century English upper class from the viewpoint of the bohemian intelligentsia. It's a platonic love story. It's the tale of a life long friendship. It's about disillusionment. It's gossip. It is spiky, barbed argument and profound offence, but it's also tender concern and deep respect. It is two of the best and most difficult writers the world has ever produced writing personally and mostly honestly about what mattered to them. It's about writing paper and it's about the proper use of the word 'claim.'
"It is very degrading to be constantly in the company of of people you have to "make allowances for"" - this book is a break from them.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars surprisingly enjoyable, 27 April 2011
By 
John Davison - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh are my favourite writers, but I put off reading this book for some time because collected letters generally don't appeal. Even with these two I took a couple of rests from the book before realising it was a lot more enjoyable than anything else I had to hand.

I would refute the charges of "bigot" and "racist" [see other reviews] where Nancy is concerned. She is totally non-PC in her letters, but then PC had not been invented. What shines through is her love of life and her enjoyment of people. She uses "jew" as a label without embarrassment, but she meets and warmly admires Decca's husband Robert Treuhaft.

Evelyn Waugh is a different case. His contempt for the lower classes, for example, is manifest, and is evidently rooted in his shame at not belonging to the upper. You can also understand why the fundamentalist approach to Roman Catholicism appealed to him - Waugh would have no problem with other people being damned for eternity, even those close to him.

Charlotte Mosley edits with a light touch. It was nice that she thoughtfully translated all the French phrases, as until recently editors from a certain section of society tended to assume everyone knew the language. The notes are copious and generally quite dull - the most important entry in anyone's life, in Charlotte's world, is who they married - but thank goodness they are placed at the end of each letter and not in an addendum.

Unlike the reviewer from The Independent, I didn't "rock with helpless laughter", but I was fairly consistently amused, and thanks to Nancy I have ordered several more books from Amazon, on the grounds that if she enjoyed them I probably will too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, 24 May 2014
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
You get the feeling that you wouldn't have necessarily liked to be friends with either Mitford or Waugh, but that you would have been utterly fascinated by them if you met them. The letters between them over forty odd years show a level of wit and malicious, gossipy joy that make them an indulgence to read. They neither of them come across as the nicest of people, but you can see how well they suited each other and how their ability to say exactly as they pleased to each other without fear of reprisals made for an utterly compelling correspondence.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beryl's review, 31 May 2014
By 
Beryl P. Wales "Aussie Sheila" (Sydney Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
I haven't read it all yet, but I have always read their books when I was young, and enjoyed them. This is good and interesting, but I sometimes get a bit fed up with all the explanatory notes.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A polite exchange, 12 May 2012
By 
LS (The Hons Cupboard) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
I am a massive fan of the Mitfords and of their correspondence which has been superbly edited by Charlotte Mosley, however, this book is a light and easy read, quite possible to finish in one sitting as there are little editorial or biographical notes. I did expect a much more livelier exchange between Mitford and Waugh, however, their letters are quite polite and trivial- discussing their holidays, their daily lives, books they have read etc, it really does not shed light on their personalities or their great wit. Mitford does shine though, as always, and it is her witty phrases (in some of the letters) which liven up the congenial text. All in all, it is a light read, nothing groundbreaking, and I noticed that Mosley included a lot of letters that were published in "Love From Nancy: The Letters of Nancy Mitford" so, I should recommend that you invest in that, which is a fast paced, enjoyable read where the many complexities of Mitford's personality are displayed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavenly, 1 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Book of letters between two great writers. Full of wit and fun and evocative of an era when writing letters, not reviews, was the norm. Loved it
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transcending, 1 Dec. 2010
This review is from: The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
I have a great interest in literature from the 40s and 50s but this full collection of correspondence between two great writers and personalities never appealed. When I finally picked it up I couldn't put it down for two solid days.
It makes the text more interesting if you have a passing knowledge of Waugh and Mitford but is perfectly readable without. It reads like a literary gossip who's who -Maugham, Greene, Amis etc all make fascinating appearances. However the book is more then this, and gives a real insight into a long-standing friendship. The letters themselves are well-written, witty, and occasionally biting and caustic (usually Waugh). I lived and breathed their world and felt completely bereft when it came to a rather sad end. I can't recommend this book enough- it's pure, unadulterated joy and escapism. Yes, like the reviewer before me, I frequently SHRIEKED, but by the end I was also in floods.

Regarding the footnotes - yes they are long and in the beginning a tad intimidating. I tended to ignore them when I started the book, but when I was fully engrossed ten pages later devoured them all.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


38 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I SHRIEKED!, 21 Aug. 2000
By A Customer
My Dear! Read them and shriek! You will SHRIEK! Honks Cooper, Ooofy Allbright (don't mention the hair do! ), Clever Clever and a host of other minor society figures - all here in this too, too perfect book. Blissikins! How can one fail to love a book that cites a genuine article entitled "Hats are small but worn at any angle"? Or a father's description of his 2 year-old daughter as "Massively unpleasant, probably manic depressive and ludicrously theatrical, she runs screaming from me at every opportunity, but her eyes are full of malevolent intent."? You will SHRIEK! Sheer, sheer HEAVEN. DO buy it, oh do! I really think you might, you horror.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Book perfect. Delighted, 30 Sept. 2014
This review is from: The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Splendid stuff. Book perfect. Delighted.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 Nov. 2014
This review is from: The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
good
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh (Penguin Modern Classics)
£14.88
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews