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Group Reads Archive > Nancy Mitford - Love in a Cold Climate & The Pursuit of Love

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message 1: by Ally (new)

Ally (goodreadscomuser_allhug) | 1653 comments Mod
Hello All,

Welcome to the new category for our September group read.

Once you have read this month's choice pop back here and let us know what you thought!

Happy reading...

Ally


message 2: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 561 comments I loved these two books. Uncle Matthew hunting the children....what a joy.


message 3: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 561 comments I found Mitford a delight. She has a lighter touch than most of her contemporaries.


message 4: by Joanne (new)

Joanne | 15 comments For those of you that have already read these books,I think I will have time to read only one of these titles and wonder which one you would recommend? I have never read this author before, although I have read The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family.


message 5: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments Joanne - I read these a number of years ago - after I saw it on Masterpiece Theater- and I found them to be very quick reads. If that helps you any.


message 6: by Ivan (last edited Sep 03, 2010 04:48PM) (new)

Ivan | 561 comments I agree with Jan (although I would say "Love in a Cold Climate" is my favorite of the two).


message 7: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments I'd agree, Ivan. I liked "Cold Climate" better.


message 8: by Joanne (new)

Joanne | 15 comments Thank you, Ivan and Jan. I guess I will start with Love in a Cold Climate once I finish my current book.


message 9: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 561 comments I am the slowest reader on the planet (oh, alright, there's a guy in Sri Lanka who's actually slowest, urgh!) and I breezed right through these. The writing is immediately engaging, brimming with charm and droll wit, and the characters – Uncle Matthew, Lady Montdore, Cedric Hampton, Boy Dougdale – are indelible. There are so many funny situations – the aforementioned “hunting of the children” and the debutante ball for Linda and Fanny to which Uncle Matthew has invited only geriatric gentlemen guests….and on and on.


message 10: by Marieke (new)

Marieke | 23 comments Ivan wrote: "I am the slowest reader on the planet (oh, alright, there's a guy in Sri Lanka who's actually slowest, urgh!) and I breezed right through these. The writing is immediately engaging, brimming with ..."

i haven't participated in this group yet, but i'm really looking forward to reading these books. i've heard/seen a lot of positive things about them and i've been curious about the mitfords in general. i think i'll read "love in a cold climate" second since that seems to be the one people like a little more...


message 11: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 561 comments Joanne wrote: "For those of you that have already read these books,I think I will have time to read only one of these titles and wonder which one you would recommend? I have never read this author before, althou..."

I have The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family and have flip through reading passages here and there - love it. I had just finished Jessica Mitford's Hons and Rebels - which covered some of the same ground.


message 12: by Ensiform (new)

Ensiform | 8 comments I'm enjoying the first book, and yes, it's a quick read. This is my third BYT booklist read, and love belonging to the group, by the way. I'm a middle aged, (over-)educated, expansively literate guy - at least I like to think so - and I'd never heard of these books or the Mitfords. They were quite well known in their day, it seems. Thanks to all you Bright Young bookworms who have already introduced me to new literary delights.


message 13: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments Enisform - I had never heard of the Mitfords until I saw the PBS show which I think was on sometime in the '80s.


message 14: by Ally (new)

Ally (goodreadscomuser_allhug) | 1653 comments Mod
I'm so pleased to see people enjoying the group and finding some little gems of authors - groups like this really open up your world. I'd like to add my humblest thanks to everyone who makes this group what it is!

As for this book - I read it some time ago and found the gentle 'English' humour just wonderful. I find that the attitudes and behaviours parodied really sum up what I love about being English...we can't half laugh at ourselves!

Ally


message 15: by Anouska (new)

Anouska (noosh) | 5 comments Oooh my copy has just arrived, can't wait to get started!


message 16: by toria (vikz writes) (last edited Sep 08, 2010 11:12AM) (new)

toria (vikz writes) (victoriavikzwrites) Anouska wrote: "Oooh my copy has just arrived, can't wait to get started!"

so has mine. I can't wait to get started.


message 17: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 561 comments Ally wrote: "I'm so pleased to see people enjoying the group and finding some little gems of authors - groups like this really open up your world. I'd like to add my humblest thanks to everyone who makes this g..."

Have you ever read any Barbara Pym? Your phrase 'gentle English humour' brought her to mind.


message 18: by Marieke (new)

Marieke | 23 comments I love English humor. please excuse my American spelling!


message 19: by Ensiform (new)

Ensiform | 8 comments Does anyone know what it means when the sisters call a suitor or husband a "Bottom"? Is it a Shakespeare reference, as in Nick Bottom, like saying "he's an ass"?


message 20: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 561 comments I known what it means in America circa 2010, but will have to defer to Ally for the British translation; though I think your assumption is more than likely correct


message 21: by Linda2 (last edited Sep 12, 2010 09:52AM) (new)

Linda2 I just joined, and I'm waiting for my book in the mail.

"Bottom:" The Mitfords had their own language, known only to them.

I just read that one of the sisters, Deborah, is still alive at 90. She's spent considerable effort during her lifetime trying to suppress any negative books about her family. As the Duchess of Devonshire, she has managed her late husband's grand estate since his death.

When you think about it, some of the Mitfords were famous for being famous, i.e. they were just media celebs. But both Nancy and Jessica (The American Way of Death) were fine writers, and Deborah has also written books about her estate, Chatsworth.

Slideshow:
http://www.style.com/beauty/icon/0225...


message 22: by Marieke (new)

Marieke | 23 comments Rochelle wrote: "Bottom:" The Mitfords had their own language, known only to them. "

that's really interesting information. i know essentially nothing about the Mitfords.


message 23: by Linda2 (last edited Sep 12, 2010 10:33AM) (new)


message 24: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 Mitford's books were written in the '40's. Ally hasn't heard any modern English bathroom humor, I guess, or the vulgar stuff that often passes for humor on "Brit-coms." LOL.


message 25: by Joanne (new)

Joanne | 15 comments I finished Love in a Cold Climate last night, and I think I will also at least skim The Pursuit of Love because I liked the characters and want to find out more about them. Do you think these books are satires aimed at the aristocracy or a true portrait of the upper class in the pre-war years?


message 26: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 561 comments Oh, these are satrical.


message 27: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments I think she was from the left-wing end of the family and this was a family where there were people who were extremely right-eing (fascists) and extremely left-wing (Communists).


message 28: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 These books are definitely satirical, Joanne, a skewed portrait of her family. That's why they're so funny. She was like Cole Porter, making fun of her own background in her work.


message 29: by Marieke (new)

Marieke | 23 comments Do you think it's helpful to have read that new biography of them? Sorry...I'm blanking on the name of the book at the moment.


message 30: by Ivan (last edited Sep 14, 2010 05:29PM) (new)

Ivan | 561 comments The Sisters The Saga of the Mitford Family by Mary S. Lovell The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family. Helpful in the sense that you recognize which family members and or family friends are being lampooned. However, these are enormously enjoyable even without being familiar with the actual history.


message 31: by Marieke (new)

Marieke | 23 comments yes-that one! and i noticed someone linked to it above. i am enjoying "love in a cold climate" a lot, but i can't help but feel that i'm missing something...like, it's not exactly over my head, but it's going by the side of my head, so to speak.
so i think i'll try to get my hands on "the sisters" ASAP. seems like a fascinating family, to say the least. i loved the stuff rochelle linked to a couple of days ago.


message 32: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 561 comments Aside from an engaging storyline, tart wit and charming prose style, "Love in a Cold Climate" is of particular relevance to gay readers (such as myself) for the no nonsense presentation of the flamboyantly aesthetic Cedric, who is thoroughly and unrepentantly gay. He is a rather heroic character (not at all tragic like poor Sebastian Flyte from "Brideshead Revisited" and so many other gays of pre-Stonewall literature), possessed of great personal magnetism and self-esteem; and though his open homosexuality alternately shocks and delights society, he ultimately proves a great catalyst for happiness and reconciliation in the lives of those closest to him.


message 33: by SarahC (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 9 comments I would love to get caught up and join this discussion -- I am to read this book for another group next month, so maybe... I just wanted to say that yours is a beautifully written comment, Ivan.


message 34: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 561 comments Well, thank you. I know you'll enjoy the book.


message 35: by Marieke (new)

Marieke | 23 comments Ivan wrote: "Aside from an engaging storyline, tart wit and charming prose style, "Love in a Cold Climate" is of particular relevance to gay readers (such as myself) for the no nonsense presentation of the flam..."

I just finished the pursuit of love and i'm really looking forward to reading love in a cold climate. (who cares if i'm behind, right?) i've had too many books on my plate, but now i know how much i like nancy mitford and i'll save love in a cold climate for a weekend read instead of dragging it out betwixt and between other books...

your description of cedric is intriguing, ivan...i felt frustrated with sebastien flyte but somehow also liked him a lot. i think his depression was universal on a certain level, and that teddy bear...what can i say? the teddy bear.


message 36: by Wendy (new)

Wendy | 3 comments I have loved reading these novels! Just what the doctor ordered .... helped me get through a crummy September. So engrossing and fun :)


message 37: by Bronwyn (new)

Bronwyn (nzfriend) | 651 comments I'm about to have a free breath in a week, so even though it's not Sept. I'm going to read this. I was so disappointed Sept. didn't work for me.


message 38: by Marieke (new)

Marieke | 23 comments Bronwyn wrote: "I'm about to have a free breath in a week, so even though it's not Sept. I'm going to read this. I was so disappointed Sept. didn't work for me."

I'm still planning to read love in a cold climate...so i'm happy to see i'm not the only one delayed. :D


message 39: by Bronwyn (new)

Bronwyn (nzfriend) | 651 comments I finally(!) read The Pursuit of Love and I'm at part 2 in Love in a Cold Climate. I'm just loving them both! I have the DVD of the mini from Masterpiece, and liked it, but didn't love it. After reading the book/s it just adds so much more and I like the mini more now. In bits I wish I hadn't seen the dvd, just because I know why Polly's like she is at the beginning and so the sort of reveal wasn't so big for me, but otherwise having seen it doesn't detract at all. Mitford's writing is just so breezy and easy and fun. I love it. :)


message 40: by Bronwyn (new)

Bronwyn (nzfriend) | 651 comments I know this doesn't strictly go here, but I'm not loving Don't Tell Alfred as much as the other two. Maybe because it was written so much later? I mean, it's still fun and enjoyable but I don't love it and I'm not breezing through it. I like young people in love, not ambassadresses I guess, lol.


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