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Archive > Group Read -> July 2019 -> Nomination thread (A book by or about Nancy Mitford won by 'The Pursuit of Love')

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message 1: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 8421 comments Mod
Our July 2019 group read theme is...


....Nancy Mitford

So we invite you to nominate a book by, or about, Nancy Mitford

It can be either fiction or non-fiction.

Please supply the title, author, a brief synopsis, and anything else you'd like to mention about the book, and why you think it might make a good book to discuss.

If your nomination wins then please be willing to fully participate in the subsequent discussion.

Happy nominating.




message 2: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 8421 comments Mod
According to Wikipedia this is a list of her work as an author



Novels

Highland Fling. London: Thornton Butterworth. 1931. OCLC 12145781.
Christmas Pudding. London: Thornton Butterworth. 1932. OCLC 639867174.
Wigs on the Green. London: Thornton Butterworth. 1935. OCLC 5728619.
Pigeon Pie. London: Hamish Hamilton. 1940. OCLC 709966771.
The Pursuit of Love. London: Hamish Hamilton. 1945. OCLC 857990796.
Love in a Cold Climate. London: Hamish Hamilton. 1949. OCLC 563596524.
The Blessing. London: Hamish Hamilton. 1951. OCLC 752807050.
Don't Tell Alfred. London: Hamish Hamilton. 1960. OCLC 757838847.

Biographical

Madame de Pompadour. London: Hamish Hamilton. 1954. OCLC 432649137.
Voltaire in Love. London: Hamish Hamilton. 1957. OCLC 459588409.
The Sun King. London: Hamish Hamilton. 1966. OCLC 229419330.
Frederick the Great. London: Hamish Hamilton. 1970. ISBN 0-241-01922-2.


message 3: by Susan (new)

Susan | 8905 comments Mod
I will happily read any of her books, but I will nominate:

The Horror of Love: Nancy Mitford and Gaston Palewski in Paris and London The Horror of Love Nancy Mitford and Gaston Palewski in Paris and London by Lisa Hilton

The compelling love story of two extraordinary individuals - Nancy Mitford and Free French commander Gaston Palewski - living in extraordinary times.

'Oh, the horror of love!' Nancy Mitford once exclaimed. Elegant and intelligent, Nancy was a reknowned wit and a popular author. Yet this bright, waspish woman, capable of unerring emotional analysis in her work gave her heart to a well-known philanderer who went on to marry another woman. Was Nancy that unremarkable thing - a deluded lover - or was she a remarkable woman engaged in a sophisticated love affair?

Gaston Palewski, was the Free French commander and one of the most influential politicians in post-war Europe. His and Nancy's mutual life was spent amongst the most exciting, powerful and controversial figures in the centre of reawakening Europe. She supported him throughout his tumultuous career and he inspired some of her best work, including The Pursuit of Love. Lisa Hilton's provocative book reveals how, with discipline, gentleness and a great deal of elegance, Nancy Mitford and Gaston Palewski achieved a very adult ideal.


message 4: by Nigeyb (last edited Apr 21, 2019 01:15AM) (new)

Nigeyb | 8421 comments Mod
Thanks Susan - that's a splendid suggestion and one that would be interesting to discuss

I'm happy to read anything so am just going to enjoy mulling over what other people choose to nominate


message 5: by Susan (new)

Susan | 8905 comments Mod
Just me then :)


message 6: by Nigeyb (last edited Apr 22, 2019 09:59AM) (new)

Nigeyb | 8421 comments Mod
Well I wasn't going to nominate but having assiduously studied reviews for both The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate, I conclude that I would like to read and discuss (drum roll please)...

The Pursuit of Love (1945)

...so that's my nomination


In this Guardian review, Olivia Laing states...

It is a darker book than I first realised, the superficial lightness concealing a faint and beguiling pessimism about love's pursuit and its consequences.

However, she also states...

The story's genius lies in its wicked humour, which remains relentlessly uplifting even as the Blitz begin to smash all the hopes of that pre-war arcadia.

Light and dark? What more could we ask for?


Here's the blurb...

Nancy Mitford’s most enduringly popular novel, The Pursuit of Love is a classic comedy about growing up and falling in love among the privileged and eccentric.

Mitford modeled her characters on her own famously unconventional family. We are introduced to the Radletts through the eyes of their cousin Fanny, who stays with them at Alconleigh, their Gloucestershire estate. Uncle Matthew is the blustering patriarch, known to hunt his children when foxes are scarce; Aunt Sadie is the vague but doting mother; and the seven Radlett children, despite the delights of their unusual childhood, are recklessly eager to grow up. The first of three novels featuring these characters, The Pursuit of Love follows the travails of Linda, the most beautiful and wayward Radlett daughter, who falls first for a stuffy Tory politician, then an ardent Communist, and finally a French duke named Fabrice



Nominations so far...

SUSAN: The Horror of Love: Nancy Mitford and Gaston Palewski in Paris and London by Lisa Hilton
NIGEYB: The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford





message 7: by Susan (new)

Susan | 8905 comments Mod
The Pursuit of Love and The Horror of Love go really well together, Nigeyb.


message 8: by Roman Clodia (new)

Roman Clodia | 3990 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "The Pursuit of Love and The Horror of Love go really well together, Nigeyb."

Exactly what I was thinking. These are my top 2 Mitford choices so I'm not nominating this month - whatever wins, I want to read Horror and re-read Pursuit :)


message 9: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 8421 comments Mod
Interesting, thanks Susan and Roman Clodia


message 10: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4194 comments Mod
I'd like to read those too, but I also still fancy one of her biographies, so I will nominate Voltaire in Love. Voltaire in Love by Nancy Mitford

Amazon blurb:
The meeting of Voltaire, successful financier, famous poet and troublemaker, and the enchanting amateur physicist and countess Émilie du Châtelet, was a meeting of both hearts and minds. In the Château de Cirey, the two brilliant intellects scandalised the French aristocracy with their passionate love affair and provoked revolutions both political and scientific with their groundbreaking work in literature, philosophy and physics.
Nancy Mitford's account of the love affair of the Enlightenment is, in the author's own words, 'a shriek from beginning to end'.



message 12: by Susan (new)

Susan | 8905 comments Mod
I haven't read either the Voltaire, or Frederick the Great, biographies, so would love to do so.


message 13: by Nigeyb (last edited Apr 23, 2019 01:59AM) (new)

Nigeyb | 8421 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "The Pursuit of Love and The Horror of Love: Nancy Mitford and Gaston Palewski in Paris and London go really well together, Nigeyb."

Roman Clodia wrote: "Exactly what I was thinking. These are my top 2 Mitford choices so I'm not nominating this month - whatever wins, I want to read Horror and re-read Pursuit :)"

Thanks again.

This really is a splendid suggestion and, depending on the outcome of the poll, we might be able to make this happen by choosing one of them as July's accompanying Moderators' choice read

Watch this space


The Horror of Love: Nancy Mitford and Gaston Palewski in Paris and London is, apparently, and as Susan also states above....

...the compelling love story of two extraordinary individuals - Nancy Mitford and Free French commander Gaston Palewski - living in extraordinary times.


Some reviews....

An excellent study of passion. (William Leith EVENING STANDARD)

Hilton has no truck with those who claim that Nancy died of a broken heart; her crisply written book is instead something of a manifesto for a more pragmatic, Gallic approach to human relations. (Daisy Goodwin THE SUNDAY TIMES)

An extraordinary, yet also typical, love affair told with sympathy and intelligence. (THE SUNDAY HERALD)

Not a "Mitford book", says Hilton, but this nicely barbed reappraisal of Nancy's 30-year affair with politician and unlikely philanderer Palewski extrapolates heavily from her world and writings. (THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH SEVEN Magazine)

For those who like the work and life of Nancy Mitford this will also be a most useful and entertaining biography. (CONTEMPORARY REVIEW)

Makes for fascinating reading. (THE GOOD BOOK GUIDE)

It is true passion that this volume focuses on. (THIS ENGLAND)




message 14: by Annabel (new)

Annabel Frazer | 82 comments Nigeyb wrote: "Susan wrote: "The Pursuit of Love and The Horror of Love: Nancy Mitford and Gaston Palewski in Paris and London go really well together, Nigeyb."

Roman Clodia wrote: "..."


The Horror of Love has gone straight onto my Must Read list. I cannot resist Mitford biographies and I had never heard of this one. I really enjoyed the Laura Thompson biography of NM and also her letters to and from Evelyn Waugh so I feel as though I know her through and through and would love to know more about the love of her life. And yet I've never got on with her novels.


message 15: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 8421 comments Mod
Annabel wrote: "The Horror of Love has gone straight onto my Must Read list"

Great news Annabel. Hang on until July and, hopefully, we can all enjoy it together


message 16: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 997 comments I've been reading The Horror of Love: Nancy Mitford and Gaston Palewski in Paris and London for a while and would be willing to go back to it. I previously read The Pursuit of Love & Love in a Cold Climate when there was a tie-in to the PBS show in the '80s (I think).

I will also suggest Wigs on the Green which I also have going somewhere.


message 17: by Barbara (new)

Barbara | 5 comments Didn't we just read Wigs on the Green a couple of months ago?


message 18: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 997 comments If we did, forget about it.


message 19: by Susan (new)

Susan | 8905 comments Mod
It was the Mod's read in February. I didn't much like it the first time I read it, but enjoyed it much more when I revisited it recently. It is an interesting novel, but we did read it fairly recently.


message 21: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 8421 comments Mod
I'll get the poll up soon


message 22: by Susan (new)

Susan | 8905 comments Mod
OK. Not a large number of choices, but all excellent ones.


message 23: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 8421 comments Mod
Sometimes less is more


message 25: by Nigeyb (last edited Apr 27, 2019 01:43PM) (new)

Nigeyb | 8421 comments Mod
Pollwatch....


The Pursuit of Love - 7 votes, 63.6%

The Horror of Love: Nancy Mitford and Gaston Palewski in Paris and London - 3 votes, 27.3%

Voltaire in Love - 1 vote, 9.1%


If things stay as they are then we'll have The Pursuit of Love as the Group Read and The Horror of Love: Nancy Mitford and Gaston Palewski in Paris and London as the Mod Read - as suggested by both Susan and Roman Clodia


message 26: by Susan (new)

Susan | 8905 comments Mod
Sounds great. Shame Voltaire didn't get many votes though. I would love to read all her biographies and thought it was a great nomination.


message 27: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4194 comments Mod
Well, we can't all vote for everything ... I nominated Voltaire but was tempted by the other choices too!


message 28: by Susan (new)

Susan | 8905 comments Mod
Good to hear, Judy. It will be a great reading month - anticipating it with great joy already!


message 29: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 8421 comments Mod
The Pursuit of Love (1945) has won the poll for our July 2019 group read


The book which came second in the poll, The Horror of Love: Nancy Mitford and Gaston Palewski in Paris and London by Lisa Hilton, will be the Moderators' Choice read for July 2019

See you then


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