Nancy Mitford (1904 1973) was born into the British aristocracy and, by her own account, brought up without an education, except in riding and French. She managed a London bookshop during the Second World War, then moved to Paris, where she began to write her celebrated and successful novels, among them "The Pursuit of Love" and "Love in a Cold Climate," about the foibles of the English upper class. Mitford was also the author of four biographies: "Madame de Pompadour" (1954), "Voltaire in Love" (1957), "The Sun King" (1966), and "Frederick the Great" (1970) all available as NYRB classics. In 1967 Mitford moved from Paris to Versailles, where she lived until her death from Hodgkin s disease.
Amanda Foreman was born in London in 1968 and educated at Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia University, and Oxford University, where she received a Ph.D. in history. She is the author of "Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire," and "A World on Fire"; her new study, "The World Made by Women: A History of Womankind from the Age of Cleopatra to the Era of Hillary Clinton," is forthcoming in 2016."show more