Author(s): Nancy Mitford
Nancy Mitford's Love in a Cold Climate is a wickedly funny satire, brilliantly lampooning upper-class society. When Polly, a beautiful aristocrat, declares her love for her married, lecherous uncle - who also happens to be her mother's former lover - she sparks off a scandal that has both disastrous and delicious consequences. Love in a Cold Climate is an unforgettable tale of the absurdities and obsessions of the elite.
Nancy Mitford (1904-1973) was born in London, the eldest child of the second Baron Redesdale. Her childhood in a large, remote country house with her five sisters and one brother is recounted in the early chapters of The Pursuit of Love (1945), which, according to Mitford, is largely autobiographical. Apart from being taught to ride and speak French, Nancy Mitford always claimed she never received a proper education. She started writing before her marriage in 1932 in order 'to relieve the boredom of the intervals between recreations established by the social conventions of her world' and had written four novels before the success of The Pursuit of Love in 1945. After the war she moved to Paris and she spent the rest of her life in France. She followed The Pursuit of Love with Love in a Cold Climate (1949), The Blessing (1951) and Don't Tell Alfred (1960). She also wrote four works of biography: Madame de Pompadour, first published to great acclaim in 1954, Voltaire in Love, The Sun King and Frederick the Great. As well as being a novelist and biographer she also translated Madame de Lafayette's classic novel, La Princesse de Cleves, into English, and edited Noblesse Oblige, a collection of essays concerned with the behaviour of the English aristocracy and the idea of 'U' and 'non-U'. Nan