Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford (1949)

Novels of Nancy Mitford 

The Pursuit of Love, upon which I recently posted, and Love in a Cold Climate are universally considered the best two works of Nancy Mitford, each comic masterworks.  Having  read Nancy Mitford A Biography by Selina Hastings before I read any of Mitford's fiction, I knew these two novels, and most of her novels, draw on her life experience growing up as the oldest of the famous and infamous Mitford Sisters.  The setting is England between the wars, the characters are all from affluent country aristocrats much taken up with fox hunting and such, living in grand old houses  with platoons of servants. Love in a Cold Climate focuses of the same family as The Pursuit of Love.  The head of the family is known as either "farve" (family slang for father) or Uncle Matthew by the niece he is raising.  He is a wonderful creation.  You will love him.  He is married to Aunt Sadie, a more subdued character. They have six daughters, a niece, you will remember her mother is called "the Bolter", and one son and  numerous guests.  

                                1904 to 1973

One of the major characters in this novel is Polly, and her parents.  They have just returned from five years in India, where Polly's father was the viceroy of India.  His wife is a rather unpleasantly snobbish person.  Riding in her large Daimler during the rain she says it is so nice to look out and see all the poor people in the rain.  Her and her husband are the social leaders of the area.  Their daughter Polly hopes people will be more sensible about love in a cold climate.  

Of course there is all sorts of gossip.  The girls have developed a private language. So they can communicate in secret.  Prolly ends up shocking everybody with her choice of a man.  There was a BBC TV series based on the novel and you can watch it on YouTube.  I watched one episode, loved it.

I throughly enjoyed both of her novels.  She wrote a lot of novels and I will read more.

Mel u


Tamara said...

Mel, i dont pop in as often as I'd like to but you always post such interesting stories. Nancy sounds like a character herself. You're a thorough researcher and a good advicate for reading. Cheers

Mel u said...

Tamara, there is a strong Paris connection with Nancy Mitford. She loved Paris and lived there many years. Much of her fiction is set in Paris. Thanks as always for your comment and visit