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Love in a Cold Climate and Other Novels

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  2,327 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
The Pursuit of Love
Love in a Cold Climate
The Blessing
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Nancy Mitford's Love in a Cold Climate and Other Novels casts a finely gauged net to capture perfectly the foibles and fancies of the English upper class, and includes an introduction by Philip Hensher in Penguin Modern Classics. Nancy Mitford's brilliantly witty, irreverent stories of the upper c
Paperback, 512 pages
Published 2000 by Penguin Books
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Donald The Pursuit Of Love, Love In A Cold Climate, and The Blessing, are in this collection, with an Introduction by Philip Hensher.

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Oct 16, 2010 Ensiform rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
The sequel to The Pursuit of Love, this book has Fanny (married to a husband who may as well not exist, for the purposes of the book) watching in amazement as Polly, the great beauty of the season and daughter of the socially-conscious and fabulously wealthy Lady Montdore, refuses all suitors until finally claiming a husband amid such scandal she is disinherited. Enter Cedric, a fabulously outré homosexual, who now stands to inherit all, and who becomes fast friends with Lady Montdore, introduci ...more
Jun 10, 2012 Joey rated it liked it
This nice little trilogy of Nancy Mitford's most popular fiction is as light and frothy as they come, peppered with giggle-out-loud moments and some of the most beautiful turns of phrase. The first two books, The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate , are part of a series and focus on different characters, many of whom appear in both novels and have the same narrator, Fanny. They both, as many English novels seem to be, are focused on the all-important task of finding love in the right ...more
Lora Grigorova
Aug 14, 2012 Lora Grigorova rated it did not like it
Love in a Cold Climate and Other Novels:

A long time has passed since I had the unfortunate displeasure of running into a book that I simply cannot finish. The last one, which gave me such trouble, was Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Frankly, I just don’t get why Bulgarians picked it up as one of their 12 most favorite books. I may be shallow, but this magical made-up world of his was too much to bear. So after 200 pages (which seem
Apr 07, 2010 Kiwiflora rated it liked it
A few years ago in the book club we read a fabulous biography of the famous Mitford sisters. Aristocratically born early in the 20th century, the five sisters came to adult hood between the wars where they literally took the world by storm. Nancy, the oldest, became a writer of biting satire towards her class, Unity and Diana were fascists - Unity in cahoots with Hitler and Goebbels, and Diana marrying the very well known fascist Sir Oswald Mosley who ended up going to prison for his troubles; J ...more
Nov 14, 2010 Elsje rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2011
Ik pikte deze Penguin pocket ooit op bij een boekenmarkt, omdat mijn zus oude Penguins spaart. Op mijn uitgave staat ook nog een Cupidootje dat zich in de verkleumde handjes blaast. Na alle ellende in de vorige boeken had ik wel behoefte aan iets lichts en ik meende dat bij Mitford te kunnen vinden. Helaas konden de personages me niet boeien en zat er weinig ontwikkeling in het boekje. Mijn kwalificatie: saai.

Het verhaal
Stel je de adellijke kringen voor in het Groot-Brittannië van de jaren '30 v
Nov 11, 2008 Alistair rated it liked it
this falls somewhere between Evelyn Waugh and P G Wodehouse being neither as serious and cutting as Waugh nor as funny as Wodehouse . the people are the same though , posh and a bit ridiculous . coming out in these days was for debutantes not for cissies or pansies as they would have called them and if one is talking " balls " it is dancing one is referring to , not nonsense .
there is no story to speak off just loads of peculiar people who never work and do anything except socialaise with their
Tarragon Smith
Jul 06, 2009 Tarragon Smith rated it really liked it
Jolly good. I'm glad of the recommendation. I've read the third book in this volume, Blessing. I think for the first time in my life I had to skip to the ending due to the tedium of the last third of the book. There is a child, a blessing to the estranged parents who thoroughly spoil him, and I found him insufferable. Happily, just as I was cheating - to make sure there really was an end in sight - everything shifted for the better. All this is to say, no need to read it at all except that it is ...more

While there were 3 novels in this omnibus edition, I only read 'In Pursuit of Love' and 'Love in a Cold Climate', leaving aside 'The Blessing'.

I adored Mitford's wit and sparkling prose and its many memorable characters. I also appreciated her down-to-earth and quite open attitude to sexuality, sexual mores and orientation.

It has meant the novels have aged well; seeming quite modern in their sensibilities with 'Cold Climate' especially notable for its rare positive portrayal of homosexuality i
Alison Goodman
Mar 08, 2012 Alison Goodman rated it liked it
An interesting, slightly odd-ball read. I enjoyed the commentary on the attitudes, manners and behaviour of the English high society between the Wars. The narrative is acerbic and witty.
Liz Elmont
Feb 23, 2017 Liz Elmont rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved The Pursuit of Love and was devastated at the abrupt ending. A perfectly fitting ending but somehow still unexpected.
Oct 04, 2011 Tony rated it really liked it
LOVE IN A COLD CLIMATE. (1949). Nancy Mitford. ****.
This novel, a sequel to Ms. Mitford’s earlier work, “The Pursuit of Love,” is a wonderful satire on England’s mostly cardboard leisure class just before WW II. The narrator of the tale is Fanny, the ward of Uncle Davey and Aunt Emily. The story centers around Polly Montdore, the daughter of one of the richest couples in England. She is the heir to their fortune, but her father has decided he wants a male inheritor, a distant nephew (?) from No
Laura McDonald
May 16, 2010 Laura McDonald rated it really liked it
I didn't want to read this one straight after The Pursuit of Love because I didn't want to get the two confused. But turns out that I did read it straight after, and in hindsight I should haven't have worried. While the plots of the two novels are intertwined, this one is very different from Pursuit.

The story mainly deals with Polly, a friend of the narrator Fanny (who also narrates of Pursuit). The characters are grown-up in this one, which is a shame because the charm from the first story cam
Jun 13, 2011 Jane rated it it was ok
This book contains three stories, the first is The Pursuit of Love. Both the first and second (Love in a Cold Climate) stories are taken from Fanny's account of her cousins. The first, Linda from Alconleigh and the second Polly Montdore. The final story is The Blessing and is independant of the others, the only link being the name of French aristocrat, Fabrice Sauveterre which comes up in all three novellas.
The books are all about the lives of upper class families and are very light, fluffy and
Nov 23, 2011 Keith rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2011, ebooks
Nancy Mitford published this book in 1949. Sixty plus years later I read it. Mitford has been in the back of my mind for a long time, not sixty years, but ever since reading an appreciation of her biographies of Louis XIV and Frederick the Great. She was a member of a very eccentric English family, Two of her younger sisters went through love affairs with Hitler and Fascism in the 1930s. One of them, Unity Mitford was a vocal admirer of Hitler and shot herself when the war started. Another, Dian ...more
May 25, 2009 Nickie rated it really liked it
This is a 3 book collection

The Pursuit Of Love - 5/5
Waugh-level satire of the English upper classes. Funny, well-observed, clever, large part autobiographical I think. Every inch a classic and a terrible shame that it's not recognised as such.

Love In A Cold Climate - 3/5
If I'd read this before The Pursuit of Love, it might have got the 5 star treatment. Just feels like more of the same - although good stuff at that. Perhaps better read at a distance from t'other as nice in a way to meet the sam
Feb 04, 2008 Gavin rated it it was ok
Shelves: classics-old-new
Three novels in one volume, of which I have finished The Pursuit of Love. This first in the collection is the story of Linda through the eyes of her cousin. An inter-war tale and very much of its time; despite that, and despite not really getting all that involved in the novel, it was a good read and interesting in that it gives a perspective on English life amongst the higher classes that is not often as well portrayed as it is in The Pursuit of Love. Love in a Cold Climate I have just started ...more
Briar Rose
Jun 07, 2011 Briar Rose rated it liked it
Just as witty and interesting as The Pursuit of Love, although even looser and less-plot driven than its predecessor. Mitford is an accomplished comic writer with a sly wit, and writes fascinating and unforgettable characters.

In this book we find out a bit more about the narrator, Fanny. She has a much stronger voice in Love in a Cold Climate than she did in The Pursuit of Love, and comes across as a real person rather than just an authorial cipher. Unfortunately she's quite a boring character -
Aug 22, 2014 Peveril rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Peveril by: Harry
The Pusuit of Love
Very entertaining easy read. I enjoyed it, marred only slightly by wondering what was truth or autobiograohy, what was adapted incident or character and what was pure fiction. I know only a little of the Mitfords, read Jessica s Hons and Rebels & A Fine Old Conflict many years ago, and may need to read more.
Very good, though rather slight - why one of H's 1001?

Love In A Cold Climate
Great title. Enjoyed this more as a novel . I read it over quite a short period and immediat
Oct 06, 2009 Becky rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I think knowing that The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate are somewhere between fiction and memoir prevents me from enjoying them completely as novels - I can't stop trying to figure out who each character represents, and psychoanalyzing the sisters themselves. Mitford presents her "Radletts" as a joyful, exuberant bunch, undaunted by their father's weird moods and tempers, and unchecked by their vague mother. Perhaps it succeeds as a window into "U"pperclass British life of the era, b ...more
Gary Land
Sep 21, 2011 Gary Land rated it really liked it
A sequel of sorts to the pursuit of love and not quite as autobiographical, this novel follows the lives of Lady Montfore (I'm writing from memory and probably don't have the name quite right)and her daughter Polly. Lady Montfore desparately wants her beautiful daughter to marry but Polly has no interest until suddenly she decides to marry her uncle, a former lover of her mother, after the death of his wife. Lady Montfore opposes the marriage and disinherits her daughter. The inheritance then go ...more
Apr 20, 2013 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
“The aim is to warm up your glands with a series of jolts. The worst thing in the world for the body is to settle down and lead a quiet little life of regular habits; if you do that it soon resigns itself to old age and death. Shock your glands, force them to react, startle them back into youth, keep them on tip-toe so that they never know what to expect next, and they have to keep young and healthy to deal with all the surprises.”

“A wife must always be on the look-out, men are so lazy by nature
May 01, 2008 Naomi rated it it was ok
Recommended to Naomi by: Emma Ferguson
I enjoyed 'In pursuit of Love' and 'The Blessing' more than I enjoyed 'Love in a Cold Climate'. While Mitford does give a veneer of frivolity to her stories I am not convinced that she is the snob she was made out to be (or at least as I thought she would be). Indeed she seems to be fairly even handed in sharpening her wit on her characters, poking mild fun at people's foibles regardless of their social background or aspirations. It is true that most of her subjects are of the aristocracy in one ...more
May 26, 2012 Hanna rated it really liked it
These books are both interesting and revolting at the same time. A writer with a flair for humour, Nancy Mitford herself is a genuine uber-blue blooded aristocratic with all the frills including a massive country house, hunting on horseback etc. A terrible snob, but still warm hearted. Since this is marginally autobiographical, I'd say that the other Mitford sisters are more interesting than Nancy, but unfortunately none of them wrote a book. There is the girl who was a briefly a Communist liber ...more
May 19, 2011 Gretchen rated it it was amazing
A really wonderful picture of the aristocracy in England between the Great Wars. (To be fair they probably weren't all like Lady Mondore and her ineffectual husband, but wasn't one of the upshots of WWI the disintergration of the upper classes?.) Their stunningly beautiful daughter, Polly, who is beautiful and that's all, is determined to marry Boy Dugdale, a fellow, to put it kindly, with a dubious reputation. This is a great disappointment to her parents who promptly disinherit her. Enter the ...more
Apr 16, 2016 Donald rated it liked it
Despite the named novel being the 'lead' as it were, I much preferred The Pursuit of Love. The eccentric family, in their country pile was much more appealing than the slightly dull Deb of Love in a Cold Climate. Why The Blessing was bundled together with these instead of the third 'Fanny' narrated novel, I don't know. Seems a no brainer to me. Instead we have the story of a French marriage, and a little brat playing one parent off another. The Pursuit of Love is certainly the wittiest of these. ...more
Jul 26, 2011 Claire added it
I tried so hard to hate this. Being distinctly 'Non-U' and of a left-wing persuasion, I should have despised this book, written by a snobby aristocrat about other snobby aristocrats being snobby and aristocratic. But eventually I couldn't resist these three delicious short novels any longer, and ended up enchanted and delighted by the series of scandals and adventurous behaviours of the English pre-war upper class set, described here with loving, gleeful and gossipy detail by Nancy Mitford. She ...more
Oct 24, 2010 Stephanie rated it liked it
Borderline four star. Very enjoyable, with a few smirk-inducing tidbits in each chapter. Ah, to be British between the wars, rich, titled, have "all this", and yes, be completely bored. What does one do? One puts on a mink, has tea and cucumber sandwiches whilst one arranges the next marriage. Mitford's heroine, Polly, spites her parents and marries for ill-placed love, not oodles of money. Being disinherited, the family must find the new heir, an unknown Canadian (gasp!), who waltzes into the e ...more
Jan 25, 2009 Ali rated it it was amazing
Just like The Pursuit of love - this is a hugely readable engaging novel, which is often quite hilarious. The characters are just fantastic - Cedric is dreadful stereotype - but really funny - and Uncle Mathew although he appears less frequently in this novel than in The Pursuit of love - is just as brilliant. This is a novel which could only ever have been written by a Mitford - it takes us to a totally bygone era and you begin to actually hear those rather affected accents of Polly Hampton, an ...more
Mar 04, 2012 Amy rated it liked it
Same narrator as in The Pursuit of Love, but this time Fanny follows the story of the Radlett's neighbors, Polly Hampton and her mother, Lady Montdore. Polly does not quite have Linda Radlett's sparkle, which makes her a bit less easy to care about. In both novels, Mitford is obviously commenting on the lifestyles, attitudes, and morals of the English aristocracy of the mid 20th century. Once again, she throws a curve for the ending--not quite a shock this time, but rather a slight wince and a s ...more
Christine Kingston
Mar 15, 2015 Christine Kingston rated it really liked it
Having previously read Mary S Lovell's "The Mitford Girls"and Charlotte Mosley's "The Mitfords- Letters Between Six Sisters" ,both of which I enjoyed tremendously, I was keen to read one of Nancy Mitfords stories for myself.

This book is actually three tales by her in one volume: In Persuit of Love, Love in a Cold Climate and The Blessing. I really enjoyed them all - they are " of a time" and have been a pleasure to read.
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  • Nancy Mitford: A Biography
  • The Face of War
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Nancy Mitford, CBE (28 November 1904, London – 30 June 1973, Versailles), styled The Hon. Nancy Mitford before her marriage and The Hon. Mrs Peter Rodd thereafter, was an English novelist and biographer, one of the Bright Young People on the London social scene in the inter-war years. She was born at 1 Graham Street (now Graham Place) in Belgravia, London, the eldest daughter of Lord Redesdale and ...more
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“You've no idea how long life goes on and how many, many changes it brings. Young people seem to imagine that it's over in a flash, that they do this thing, or that thing, and then die, but I can assure you they are quite wrong.” 20 likes
“They spoke as though these Princes are so remote from life as we know it that the smallest sign of humanity, the mere fact even that they communicated by means of speech was worth noting and proclaiming.” 3 likes
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