Love in a Cold Climate Paperback – 4 Mar 2010
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Entirely original, inimitable and irresistible (Philip Hensher Spectator)
'Entirely original, inimitable and irresistible.' (The Spectator) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
When Polly makes a marriage which both shocks society and is totally against her mother's wishes, she is forced abroad. Fanny, now married to her beloved Alfred, an Oxford don, settles down to a life of comfortable domesticity. Yet, she still sees Lady Montdore, whose whole reason for living - to see her daughter advantageously married - has been taken from her. Suddenly, though, she finds a new lease of life with the arrival of the dreaded heir to Hampton...
This is, like all Nancy Mitford novels, uncompromising in its sharp and unsentimental humour. However, also like the best of her work, it is human and very moving. There are many types of love, but the best give people a reason for living and, in this novel, Mitford explores marriage, relationships and friendship with an unflinching honesty. Again, the Radlett family and Fanny's Uncle Davey, bring much of the humour to the pages, which is a joy to read.
Yes, the family is aristocratic, snobbish and enamoured of hunting, but they're also loving, witty and close ranks whenever anyone tries to prise them apart. Mitford is especially good at articulating the generation clash as she, her sisters, cousins and friends confront, side-step and sometimes overturn completely social conventions.
This is one of those books that you can return to again and again and it's still magical, moving and funny.
This book is narrated by Fanny who is a sort of poor relation of many of the titled and wealthy families. She gets invited to many parties and to stay at the houses but she looks at society with a cold eye as she relates the misadventures of Polly, the much loved daughter of a titled family, who makes an unfortunate marriage. The story is told in a series of incidents at houseparties and dinners as Fanny pursues her own life and marries Alfred the academic. You could think of this being just a shallow observational novel of life at the top in the 1920/30s but close reading will show that it is much more than that. The main characters in this book are self-absorbed in the extreme as well as having more than a few character flaws - there are instances of abandonment of children, sexual harassment, and marriages for reasons other than love.
You really can't read this novel without understanding the context and the personal circumstances of the writer. Nancy Mitford was very much part of this world and many of the characters in the book are apparently based on real people. This shows a lot when she talks about Fanny's time with the Radlett family who are apparently based on the Mitfords - the rather brittle and objective descriptions of characters elsewhere in the book are replaced with real warmth for people she obviously loved. Not knowing who people may have been based on didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book but I would have been interested to know.
The story is about real people who do believable and often self-destructive things. The tone of the book is rather objective and at times very sardonic.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The introduction of Cedric in Part 2 of this book made the second half more enjoyable for me. But I didn't like or identify with any of the other characters. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jenny (South Africa)
Arrived in good time. Worth the wait as half the price and new!Published 5 months ago by Lady Copeland
Arrived very quickly. bought as a present but I read them first, a great humorous read.Published 8 months ago by I.M.
The first two thirds had me laughing out loud. Very funny and perceptive. However it was a bit of a disappointment at the end as it faded away.Published 8 months ago by Mrs. Janet R. Grant
Although old and dealing with the USA it pointed the way things are going in England. Do consider a local independent funeral director and think about dispensing with even a... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Alan and Jan