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Love from Nancy: The Letters of Nancy Mitford

Love from Nancy: The Letters of Nancy Mitford

Hardback

By (author) Nancy Mitford, Volume editor Charlotte Mosley

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  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 544 pages
  • Dimensions: 164mm x 236mm x 58mm | 1,021g
  • Publication date: 16 September 1993
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0340537841
  • ISBN 13: 9780340537848
  • Illustrations note: 16pp b&w photographs

Product description

Nancy Mitford died in 1973, before she could write her autobiography. This is a selection from one of the most prolific letter-writers of the 20th century. Nancy Mitford's correspondence to her wide circle of friends - Harold Acton, Robert Byron, Evelyn Waugh and Cyril Connolly - sheds a light on their lives and the times in which they lived. The book spans a period of 60 years with over 100 correspondents. It includes a collection of more than 300 letters to Evelyn Waugh, one of her closest friends. There are detailed accounts of the foolishnesses and foibles of her adopted country (France) and also in the story of her unhappy marriage and her prolonged love-affair with the "colonel", a member of de Gaulle's government. Charlotte Mosley is the editor of a collection of Nancy Mitford's journalism, "A Talent to Annoy".

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Editorial reviews

The first collection of Nancy Mitford's letters - which, like those of her British literary contemporaries (Evelyn Waugh, Harold Acton, Cyril Connolly, et. al), reflect a wit and style that never quite mask an underlying anguish at a world changed too much. Born in 1904 and dying in Paris in 1973, Mitford was a diligent correspondent who left behind more than a thousand letters. This collection (edited by her niece), spanning more than 60 years and a hundred correspondents, includes not only letters that provide an epistolary history of Mitford's life but also those that illuminate her relationship with her famous peers and equally famous - or, as often, notorious - sisters: Jessica, author of The American Way of Death; Unity, admirer of Hitler; and Diana, wife of British fascist Sir Oswald Mosley. Like her friend Anthony Powell's Dance to the Music of Time, Mitford's letters are written to or about that brilliant between-the-wars-generation that connected and reconnected in the company of interesting people in stylish milieus like the British embassy in Paris; Chatsworth, the ducal home of Mitford's youngest sister; and the Guinness's Irish castle. Many names here will be unfamiliar - and the need to consult footnotes is an irritant - but what makes the reading worthwhile are letters like the one in which Mitford relates Evelyn Waugh's answer when asked how he reconciled being so horrible with being a Christian. "He replied rather sadly that were he not a Christian he would be even more horrible." Mitford writes with great wit and plucky panache - making the best of an often unhappy personal life - about her writing, her friends, and contemporary events: the bombing raids in wartime London, Dior's "New Look," the 1968 riots in Paris, etc. A welcome addition to literary history that poignantly recalls the glittering youth and not-so-bright decline and fall of all those "bright young things" whom Mitford and Waugh wrote about so well elsewhere. (Kirkus Reviews)