Love in a Cold Climate ePUB ß Love in Epub / a Cold

Love in a Cold Climate Librarian's note An alternate cover edition can be found hereOne of Nancy Mitford’s most beloved novels Love in a Cold Climate is a sparkling romantic comedy that vividly evokes the lost glamour of aristocratic life in England between the warsPolly Hampton has long been groomed for the perfect marriage by her mother the fearsome and ambitious Lady Montdore But Polly with her stunning good looks and impeccable connections is bored by the monotony of her glittering debut season in London Having just come from India where her father served as Viceroy she claims to have hoped that society in a colder climate would be less obsessed with love affairs The apparently aloof and indifferent Polly has a long held secret however one that leads to the shattering of her mother’s dreams and her own disinheritance When an elderly duke begins pursuing the disgraced Polly and a callow potential heir curries favor with her parents nothing goes as expected but in the end all find happiness in their own unconventional ways

10 thoughts on “Love in a Cold Climate

  1. Duane Duane says:

    This 1949 farcical tale by Mitford is a riot This group of wealthy British aristocrats who view themselves as the pinnacle of society who have everything they could possible want except maybe some common sense or any sense at all for that matter live only to gossip about their set their affairs their balls etc Even Fanny the narrator whom the reader comes to rely on as the only somewhat normal character seems totally invested in the daily events of these silly people I can see how this story if casted properly could make for entertaining film or television

  2. Donald Donald says:

    When the loo paper gets thicker and the writing paper gets thinner it’s always a bad sign at home Nancy Mitford Love in a Cold Climate Hamish Hamilton 1949It is pretty standard nowadays to denigrate her as frivolous and out of touch but I’ve always had a sneaking liking for Nancy Mitford easily the loveliest of the Mitford sisters Conventional modern Britain has obviously lost sight of a lot of the values that underly her books and are no longer valued in a country where Mr Blair and the late Princess of Wales are held up as role models A lot of these contemporary prejudices have to do of course with her choice of vocabulary well illustrated I think in the above sentence that manages to refer to both loos and writing paper But there is to Nancy Mitford than that Two factors stand out in my own personal experienceFirst I am attracted of course by her fondness for France where she lived for the last thirty years or so of her life is something that obviously binds me to her the it is fascinating how France has always featured prominently in the lives and thoughts of some of England’s greatest sons the first Duke of Wellington being perhaps the most striking example Nancy Mitford’s relationship with Gaston Palewski whom I count as one of the most prominent actors of France’s reconstruction in the post war period is of course echoed in this book by the character of Sauveterre by whom the narrator is captivated at the beginning of the story But the book is dotted with innumerable accurate yet fundamentally totally English instances of observation of the intricacies of post war French societyThe second reason why I like Nancy Mitford is the detachment with which she viewed the England in which she grew up her point of view was never one of rejection—she was English to the core—but it was open minded and her books show a deep understanding of the social structures and mannerisms of England in that period something which those who have reviewed her work fail to understand She is perfectly aware of the absurdities of a system does not mean it has to be overturned as this passage illustrates“Nervous shock” said Davey “I don’t suppose she’s ever had a death so near to her before”“Oh yes she has” said Jassy “Ranger”“Dogs aren’t exactly the same as human beings my dear Jassy”But to the Radletts they were exactly the same except that to them dogs on the whole had reality than peopleNancy Mitford’s writing in that sense is hardly just frivolous It implicitly embodies a very English approach to the issues of the day her emphasis is on the value of an age old system miraculously maintained where it had vanished elsewhere combined with an insider’s view of its absurdities and the overall conviction that social structures are on balance best left untouched but should not be taken too seriouslyEnglish too is her approach to love making While important it is not something to get carried away with“I’ve loved him ever since I can remember Oh Fanny—isn’t being happy wonderful?”I felt just the same myself and was able to agree with all my heart But her happiness had a curiously staif uality and her love seemed less like the usual enchanted rapture of old establishment love which does not need to assert itself by continually meeting corresponding with and talking about its object but which takes itself as well as his response for grantedTwo opposing characters in Love in a Cold Climate illustrate this observant wittily detached modern yet ultimately sympathetic approach Uncle Matthew the archetypal old fashioned prejudiced and red faced English country suire whose life seems to revolve principally around his pet hates—anything foreign cissies intellectuals and Socialists—and Cedric a very modern exotic figure probably inspired by Hamish St Clair Erskine a Scottish folle whom Nancy Mitford had rather hopelessly “dated” in the early 1930sI also confess a weakness for Nancy Mitford’s style totally unpretentious always elegant and with a choice of vocabulary for which she has grown famous the result of breeding good taste and sound judgment Critics tend to focus on it as a reflection on a class system instead of looking at it for what it really is the embodiment of early twentieth century England at its very best

  3. Roman Clodia Roman Clodia says:

    I find Nancy Mitford such an underrated writer is it that she's been pigeon holed as one of the notorious Mitford sisters? It's unfair since at her best she has that sense of combined comedy and tragedy that Waugh demonstrates in say A Handful Of Dust and the story of 'cold' but beautiful Polly shows that Mitford can do depth without sacrificing her signature frothy sense of fun and attention to fashion details If The Pursuit of Love deconstructed cultural myths of romantic love then this book goes even further view spoilerPolly along with the Radlett girls and Fanny is the object of Boy's lecherous attentions when too young but rather than finding him creepy he is she falls in love with him in a kind of Stockholm Syndrome way There's so much to unpack about this whole relationship predatory paedophile behaviour MeToo and the way it's all covered over because the perpetrator is socially elite and privileged hide spoiler

  4. Algernon (Darth Anyan) Algernon (Darth Anyan) says:

    710In the introduction to the novel Alan Cummings remarks on the fascination exercited by Nancy Mitford writing as she is throwing open the door at the zoo and letting us watch the animals She is an insider in the exclusive circles of Britain's high society she knows all the dirty little secrets and she has the wit the talent to make us laugh out loud at their antics What attracted me most though about her first book in this Radlett Montdore setting is the human frailty and the limitations that belonging to this privileged class also imply like the lack of prospects for girls who are denied a higher education and whose only purpose in life is to acuire a husband and to be decorative Girls of her age living at home are hardly ever happy and Polly is a specially bad case because she has nothing whatever to do she doesn't care for hunting or parties or anything much that I can see and she doesn't get on with her mother It's true that Sonia teases and lectures her and sets about it all the wrong way she's a tactless person but she is perfectly right you know Polly needs a life of her own babies occupations and interests an establishment in fact and for all that she must have a husband Polly Montdore comes from Leopoldina an early illustration of her mother's royal ambitions is not in the same class as the serial faller in love Linda Radlett She is the most beautiful heiress of her generation yet she apparently has little interest in dancing the social fandango As readers we don't get into her head to see what really drives her what her dreams and expectations are until rather late in the novel The narrator is the same level headed and enchanting Fanny daughter of two wandering socialites who abandoned her as a child to be raised like a cuckoo by relatives She ends up not surprisingly choosing stability and a uiet household over adventures and melodramatic liaisons but she is a uick witted witness to all the events surrounding Polly's romantic life that are at the core of the present novel As an minor bother I was getting warmed up towards Polly as she started to show signs of independence from her overbearing mother when the author dropped her and started to focus almost exclusively on said mother Lady Montdore is another great example of Mitford bufoons who hide a tragic alienation Love indeed whoever invented love ought to be shot exclaims the Dame as she finds out that Fanny intends to marry an Oxford don instead of an aristocratic ninny For her diamonds and social status are important than feelings probably the reason she has driven her daughter Polly away Lady Montdore lives in bubble of self obsession collecting deposed royalty clueless about real life and social issues of her times But she is fun to watch especially after she meets Cedric the cousinheir from the colonies My favorite scene is Lady Montdore getting into a huff with Fanny about literary talents She remembered to ask for Mrs Dalloway before leaving and went off with the book in her hand a first edition I felt sure that I had seen the last of it but she brought it back the following week saying that she really must write a book herself as she knew she could do much better than that My least favorite scene of her illustrates her total lack of empathy and her callous nature view spoiler Polly has a miscarriage and her mother tells her it is better that the poor child died at birth then goes on to talk about the grandiose masked ball she gave in London hide spoiler

  5. Sketchbook Sketchbook says:

    In 1949 Americans were reading A Rage to Live Point of No Return and The Big Fisherman All rightfully forgotten today Then Nancy Mitford erupted with this hilarious novel of U aristos that changed the conversation and readers are still talking At the time readers here were fussed by Truman Capote's book photo of himself lounging on a settee; there was also consternation from critics about Vidal's same sex saga The City and the Pillar Enter Nancy Mitford with her UK best seller As she tells it in Harold Acton's MemoirAre you impressed? Even in America where the reviews are positively insulting it is on the best seller list I have a secret feeling the other novels on the market can't be that fascinating Anyhow I shall never write about normal love again; there is a far larger and enthusiastic public for the other sort America is taking exception to Cedric the sweet pansy It seems in America you can have pederasts in books so long as they are fearfully gloomy and end by committing suicide A cheerful one who goes from strength to strength like Cedric horrifies them They say he's too revoltingI write back 'how can you hate him when he's such a love?'Cedric Hampton only appears in the last 75 pages but he takes the story away from the deb balls and house party manners of the late 20s and the Bright Young Things not unlike the young Cecil Beaton always seeking Beauty with his camera Meeting the craggy and dominating Lady Montdore based on Violet Treufusis famous for her affairs w Vita Sackville West and Princess Edmond de Polignac Cedric orders her rejuvenation with a face lift weight loss massages and designer clothes The married Mondore is in high snit because her only daughter wed an old coot with whom the Lady once had intimacy herself Changing the Mondore Will she decides to leave all to Cedric another relative In a Mitfordian scene the two adorn themselves with every family jewel in the house It's visual insanity Cedric had been living in Paris kept by a Baron and arguing with other beaux Now he moves in with Lord and Lady Montdore though he still has a wandering eyebeware Having lovely cake and eating it too which is one's great aim in life muses NancyMitford's first great pash was for a Bright Young Thing who'd had a tumble with her brother Tom She didnt always get to eat cake but she was aware of the pastries on the U shelves and a frisky sensibility was important than being earnest That's what bothered Americans

  6. Beejay Beejay says:

    Why have I waited so long in my life to read this wonderful little gem? It's just so delicious a pure delight A comment on the back cover says it is a wickedly funny satire brilliantly lampooning upper class society They don't mention that you will laugh out loud on public transport while reading it or that you are torn between racing through this confection at high speed it or devouring it slowly to savour and enjoy every little morsel Highly recommended reading and I look forward to following the characters into other of Ms Mitford's works

  7. Kirsten Kirsten says:

    A wonderful book full of completely eccentric characters I just love it Years ago I watched a Masterpiece Theater adaptation of this book and just loved it But it was years ago and all I remember was I laughed and laughedThis book was full of the wonderfully eccentric characters that you found in the aristocratic British upper class in pre during and post war England I really have to read all the rest of Nancy Mitford's books It's a wonderfully delightful book and a lot of fun to read

  8. Francene Carroll Francene Carroll says:

    I don't remember what I expected from this book but it definitely wasn't the biting social satire of upper class England in the 1930s that I found This book is hilarious and so well written There is a large cast of characters but they are each perfectly delineated and the wit is sparkling I love the narrator's snarky voice especially in the first half and they way the author makes you share Fanny's cynicism about everything she observes while at the same time understanding her fondness for the appalling people she is surrounded by There are so many great lines I know I will have to read this book again to relive themAs a brilliant observer of human foibles Nancy Mitford is a direct descendant of Jane Austen She writes about the same class of people attempting to observe all the old traditions in a much decadent age The absurdities that result from this are just delightful from 'Boy' whose fondness for young girls is tolerated by all to the epically selfish and egotistical Lady Montdore to Cedric the effeminate young man ie raving ueen who is the most loveable character in the book and manages to have his cake and eat it to Unlike Austen this is no morality tale where everyone gets what they deserve and the ending is pure gold Can't wait to read from Nancy Mitford And to think this cost just 1 on What a gem My only disappointment is that I didn't realise this was a seuel to the Pursuit of Love so I could have read that first Many people claim that it's actually better than this book so I'm looking forward to it

  9. Nick Imrie Nick Imrie says:

    I finished this and cast my eye over other reviews always eager to know what people think And I was struck by the number of friends who felt the book was utterly ruined by the light hearted depiction of pedophilia Now I really don't want to get into a silly 'AkShUlY iTs hEbEpHiLiA' debate But it seemed strange to me that Boy Dougdale's lecherous behaviour toward teenage girls should be viewed as unmentionably evilI thought every social circle had at least one lechy old man who is ultimately harmless but who gives overblown compliments to girls hugs that are slightly too long sloppy kisses uninvited shoulder massages and the insistence that you call him 'Uncle' whatever your relationship Yeah it's gross and inappropriate but our reaction as girls was pretty much the same as the Radlett girls we laughed at him called him names behind his back and were certainly never afraid of him or afraid that his minor gropes might turn into something serious In fact we viewed him as a ridiculous old man very much an appropriate subject for comedyDid I misread the book? Was Mitford too subtle for me? Does Boy Dougdale actually do than slimy groping? Because it's made very clear that Polly is not his victim at the age of 20 she's the instigator of their marriage and he's the reluctant swain who never dreamed that if he patted a girl's bum at 14 she might drag him up the aisle 7 years later Isn't that funny or am I just evil?

  10. Ailsa Ailsa says:

    Preferred The Pursuit of Love Will continue with Don't Tell Alfred and The BlessingIt was a favourite superstition of Uncle Matthew's that if you wrote somebody's name on a piece of paper and put it in a drawer that person would die within a year The drawers at Alconleigh were full of little slips bearing the names of those whom my uncle wanted out of the way private hates of his and various public figures such as Bernard Shaw de Valera Gandhi Lloyd George and the Kaiser while every single drawer in the whole house contained the name Labby Linda's old dog The spell hardly ever seemed to work Labby having lived far beyond the age usual in Labradors but he went hopefully on and if one of the characters did happen to be carried off in the course of nature he would look pleased but guilty for a day or two

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