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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended.
I have been looking for a biography of Nancy Mitford for so long, and here it is finally, and by a friend of hers as well. It made me laugh as much as her novels. Rather than put himself on the foreground, Acton lets Nancy Mitford do the speaking and so it really is as if this is her talking about her own life, a sort of autobiography. I watched the documentary earlier...
Published on 28 Sept. 2001

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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fluent French required to read this one.
This is a rare book indeed, one I had to give up on. There is just too much untranslated French, almost every page seems to hang on a French phrase or sentence, without any assistance at all.
When every paragraph seems to be in isolation with no obvious order or planning, no theme, this book is decidedly gossipy, but as with gossip, it has no substance. A sentence...
Published on 15 Mar. 2011 by somewhere in England


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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended., 28 Sept. 2001
By A Customer
I have been looking for a biography of Nancy Mitford for so long, and here it is finally, and by a friend of hers as well. It made me laugh as much as her novels. Rather than put himself on the foreground, Acton lets Nancy Mitford do the speaking and so it really is as if this is her talking about her own life, a sort of autobiography. I watched the documentary earlier this year and I must say quite a different person emerges from this book. She was quite a self-made person, despite her background, and no doubt therefore so resilient in her disastrous love affairs. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for Mitford fans, 16 Nov. 2011
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This review is from: Nancy Mitford (Paperback)
Great little book - cleverly put together using lots of Miss Mitford's own quotes and observations - imagine a book of quotes with each quote put into context and you have the basic idea of this one - probably not a good introduction to Nancy Mitford but if you are familiar with her work and her life and more importantly enjoy it - this makes a good addition to your Mitford library. The strength of this book is that Harold Acton also knew most of the people Nancy Mitford was talking about so it's not one of those 'my life with Nancy' books nor a sensational exposé of the lives of the sisters. Definately worth space on your shelf.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars erm - it's not by Nancy, Amazon, 26 Mar. 2010
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John Davison - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Nancy Mitford (Paperback)
I bought this book because I wasn't aware that Nancy Mitford had written an autobiography [unless you count "The Pursuit of Love"].

Peer a little closer at the cover, and you realise it's by Harold Acton.

On a second reading I have got past the slightly arch Edwardian style and liked Acton's decision to portray Nancy largely through her own words. On the whole this works well - I skipped a few pages when she was emoting about Hamish St Clair-Erskine.

The book contains one of the least painful accounts of Nancy's final years, no doubt because like her Acton was a firm believer in the stiff upper lip.

One excellent idea - the photographs are printed on the same paper as the rest of the book. So in ten years' time they won't have to be repaired with sellotape.

One is left with the impression of a generous friend and biographer. It must have been galling for Acton when Evelyn Waugh's and Nancy Mitford's literary achievements vastly outshone his, but there is not a hint of mean-spiritedness in his discussion of either.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fluent French required to read this one., 15 Mar. 2011
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This review is from: Nancy Mitford (Paperback)
This is a rare book indeed, one I had to give up on. There is just too much untranslated French, almost every page seems to hang on a French phrase or sentence, without any assistance at all.
When every paragraph seems to be in isolation with no obvious order or planning, no theme, this book is decidedly gossipy, but as with gossip, it has no substance. A sentence from a letter followed by a sentence from another letter. Sometimes in untranslated French.
There are lots of names and incidents glancingly referred to, but no notes or explanations, no context.
I know nothing about Nancy, and after 125 pages of this book, I just know her name. There is no personality, no humanity, no ambition, nothing of Nancy here at all. I would say the book is a mere memoire for her close friends, it certainly does not justify the title of biography, nor is it a friend of Nancy. Weep? Yes, at a lost opportunity. Laughter? Absolutely none.
You need to be aware of and like Harold Acton's style of writing (erratic and obscure) and have plenty of prior knowledge of Nancy Mitford to get anything from this book. But if you know lots about her, you won't need it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Make sure the person you choose to write your biography will not make you seem boring, 5 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Nancy Mitford: The Biography Edited from Nancy Mitford's Letters (Kindle Edition)
Read this and you will wonder how a person could make someone so full of life so boring
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5.0 out of 5 stars Immensely enjoyable, 15 Feb. 2013
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Frances (Bury St Edmunds, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Nancy Mitford: The Biography Edited from Nancy Mitford's Letters (Kindle Edition)
The quotations from Miss Mitford's letter bring her, her family and friends vividlly to life; one senses that the author was wary of upsetting those still alive by criticism or by revealing deeply personal.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading, 18 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Nancy Mitford: The Biography Edited from Nancy Mitford's Letters (Kindle Edition)
Very impressed. The early novels are a bit P.G.Wodehouse - very entertaining. The later novels say so much about the times, are well written and kept me wanting to know what happened next
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nancy Mitford: The Biography Edited from Nancy Mitford's Letters, 16 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Nancy Mitford: The Biography Edited from Nancy Mitford's Letters (Kindle Edition)
I would have liked the book a lot more if it wasn't so full of French phrases. An affectation in my opinion. Nancy was rather fond of including French phrases in all her books.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Nancy, 12 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Nancy Mitford: The Biography Edited from Nancy Mitford's Letters (Kindle Edition)
I would have preferred a more chronological issue of events it jumps about too much. My French not so good but greatly helped by Kindle dictionary
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 8 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Nancy Mitford: The Biography Edited from Nancy Mitford's Letters (Kindle Edition)
The book has been well presented with the limited available material available.
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