The Pursuit high quality of Love & Love in a high quality Cold Climate: Two Novels outlet online sale

The Pursuit high quality of Love & Love in a high quality Cold Climate: Two Novels outlet online sale

The Pursuit high quality of Love & Love in a high quality Cold Climate: Two Novels outlet online sale
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Few aristocratic English families of the twentieth century enjoyed the glamorous notoriety of the infamous Mitford sisters. Nancy Mitford''s most famous novels, The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate, satirize British aristocracy in the twenties and thirties through the amorous adventures of the Radletts, an exuberantly unconventional family closely modelled on Mitford''s own.

The Radletts of Alconleigh occupy the heights of genteel eccentricity, from terrifying Lord Alconleigh (who, like Mitford''s father, used to hunt his children with bloodhounds when foxes were not available), to his gentle wife, Sadie, their wayward daughter Linda, and the other six lively Radlett children. Mitford''s wickedly funny prose follows these characters through misguided marriages and dramatic love affairs, as the shadow of World War II begins to close in on their rapidly vanishing world.

From the Inside Flap

Few aristocratic English families of the twentieth century enjoyed the glamorous notoriety of the infamous Mitford sisters. Nancy Mitford''s most famous novels, The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate, satirize British aristocracy in the twenties and thirties through the amorous adventures of the Radletts, an exuberantly unconventional family closely modelled on Mitford''s own.

The Radletts of Alconleigh occupy the heights of genteel eccentricity, from terrifying Lord Alconleigh (who, like Mitford''s father, used to hunt his children with bloodhounds when foxes were not available), to his gentle wife, Sadie, their wayward daughter Linda, and the other six lively Radlett children. Mitford''s wickedly funny prose follows these characters through misguided marriages and dramatic love affairs, as the shadow of World War II begins to close in on their rapidly vanishing world.

About the Author

Nancy Mitford (1904-1973) was born in London, the eldest of Lord Redesdale''s seven children. By her twenties she was a friend of Evelyn Waugh and his circle and had begun writing novels.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1

There is a photograph in existence of Aunt Sadie and her six children sitting round the tea-table at Alconleigh. The table is situated, as it was, is now, and ever shall be, in the hall, in front of a huge open fire of logs. Over the chimney-piece plainly visible in the photograph, hangs an entrenching tool, with which, in 1915, Uncle Matthew had whacked to death eight Germans one by one as they crawled out of a dug-out. It is still covered with blood and hairs, an object of fascination to us as children. In the photograph Aunt Sadie''s face, always beautiful, appears strangely round, her hair strangely fluffy, and her clothes strangely dowdy, but it is unmistakably she who sits there with Robin, in oceans of lace, lolling on her knee. She seems uncertain what to do with his head, and the presence of Nanny waiting to take him away is felt though not seen. The other children, between Louisa''s eleven and Matt''s two years, sit round the table in party dresses or frilly bibs, holding cups or mugs according to age, all of them gazing at the camera with large eyes opened wide by the flash, and all looking as if butter would not melt in their round pursed-up mouths. There they are, held like flies in the amber of that moment--click goes the camera and on goes life; the minutes, the days, the years, the decades, taking them further and further from that happiness and promise of youth, from the hopes Aunt Sadie must have had for them, and from the dreams they dreamed for themselves. I often think there is nothing quite so poignantly sad as old family groups.

When a child I spent my Christmas holidays at Alconleigh, it was a regular feature of my life, and, while some of them slipped by with nothing much to remember, others were distinguished by violent occurrences and had a definite character of their own. There was the time, for example, when the servants'' wing caught fire, the time when my pony lay on me in the brook and nearly drowned me (not very nearly, he was soon dragged off, but meanwhile bubbles were said to have been observed). There was drama when Linda, aged ten, attempted suicide in order to rejoin an old smelly Border Terrier which Uncle Matthew had had put down. She collected and ate a basketful of yew-berries, was discovered by Nanny and given mustard and water to make her sick. She was then "spoken to" by Aunt Sadie, clipped over the ear by Uncle Matthew, put to bed for two days and given a Labrador puppy, which soon took the place of the old Border in her affections. There was much worse drama when Linda, aged twelve, told the daughters of neighbours, who had come to tea, what she supposed to be the facts of life. Linda''s presentation of the "facts" had been so gruesome that the children left Alconleigh howling dismally, their nerves permanently impaired, their future chances of a sane and happy sex life much reduced. This resulted in a series of dreadful punishments, from a real beating, administered by Uncle Matthew, to luncheon upstairs for a week. There was the unforgettable holiday when Uncle Matthew and Aunt Sadie went to Canada. The Radlett children would rush for the newspapers every day hoping to see that their parents'' ship had gone down with all aboard; they yearned to be total orphans--especially Linda, who saw herself as Katie in What Katie Did, the reins of the household gathered into small but capable hands. The ship met with no iceberg and weathered the Atlantic storms, but meanwhile we had a wonderful holiday, free from rules.

But the Christmas I remember most clearly of all was when I was fourteen and Aunt Emily became engaged. Aunt Emily was Aunt Sadie''s sister, and she had brought me up from babyhood, my own mother, their youngest sister, having felt herself too beautiful and too gay to be burdened with a child at the age of nineteen. She left my father when I was a month old, and subsequently ran away so often, and with so many different people, that she became known to her family and friends as the Bolter; while my father''s second, and presently his third, fourth and fifth wives, very naturally had no great wish to look after me. Occasionally one of these impetuous parents would appear like a rocket, casting an unnatural glow upon my horizon. They had great glamour, and I longed to be caught up in their fiery trails and be carried away, though in my heart I knew how lucky I was to have Aunt Emily. By degrees, as I grew up, they lost all charm for me; the cold grey rocket cases mouldered where they had happened to fall, my mother with a major in the South of France, my father, his estates sold up to pay his debts, with an old Rumanian countess in the Bahamas. Even before I was grown up much of the glamour with which they had been surrounded had faded, and finally there was nothing left, no foundation of childish memories to make them seem any different from other middle-aged people. Aunt Emily was never glamorous but she was always my mother, and I loved her.

At the time of which I write, however, I was at an age when the least imaginative child supposes itself to be a changeling, a Princess of Indian blood, Joan of Arc, or the future Empress of Russia. I hankered after my parents, put on an idiotic face which was intended to convey mingled suffering and pride when their names were mentioned, and thought of them as engulfed in deep, romantic, deadly sin.

Linda and I were very much preoccupied with sin, and our great hero was Oscar Wilde.

"But what did he do?"

"I asked Fa once and he roared at me--goodness, it was terrifying. He said: ''If you mention that sewer''s name again in this house I''ll thrash you, do you hear, damn you?'' So I asked Sadie and she looked awfully vague and said: ''Oh, duck, I never really quite knew, but whatever it was was worse than murder, fearfully bad. And, darling, don''t talk about him at meals, will you?''"

"We must find out."

"Bob says he will, when he goes to Eton."

"Oh, good! Do you think he was worse than Mummy and Daddy?"

"Surely he couldn''t be. Oh, you are so lucky to have wicked parents."

i stumbled into the hall blinded by the light after a six-mile drive from the station. Aunt Sadie and the children were having tea, under the entrenching tool, just like in the photograph. It was the same table and the same tea-things, the china with large roses on it, the tea-kettle and the silver dish for scones both kept hot over flickering flames; the human beings were five years older. That is to say the babies had become children, the children were growing up. There had been an addition in the shape of Victoria, now aged two. She was waddling about with a chocolate biscuit clenched in her fist, her face was smothered in chocolate and was a horrible sight, but through the sticky mask shone unmistakably the blue of two steady Radlett eyes.

There was a tremendous scraping of chairs as I came in, and a pack of Radletts hurled themselves upon me with the intensity and almost the ferocity of a pack of hounds hurling itself upon a fox. All except Linda. She was the most pleased to see me, but determined not to show it. When the din had quieted down and I was seated before a scone and a cup of tea, she said:

"Where''s Brenda?" Brenda was my white mouse.

"She got a sore back and died," I said. Aunt Sadie looked anxiously at Linda.

"Had you been riding her?" said Louisa, facetiously. Matt, who had recently come under the care of a French nursery governess, said in a high-pitched imitation of her voice: "As usual, it was kidney trouble."

"Oh, dear," said Aunt Sadie, under her breath.

Enormous tears were pouring into Linda''s plate. Nobody cried so much or so often as she; anything, but especially anything sad about animals, would set her off, and, once begun, it was a job to stop her. She was a delicate, as well as a highly nervous child, and even Aunt Sadie, who lived in a dream as far as the health of her children was concerned, was aware that too much crying kept her awake at night, put her off her food, and did her harm. The other children, and especially Louisa and Bob, who loved to tease, went as far as they dared with her, and were periodically punished for making her cry. Black Beauty, Owd Bob, The Story of a Red Deer, and all the Seton Thompson books were on the nursery index because of Linda, who, at one time or another, had been prostrated by them. They had to be hidden away, as, if they were left lying about, she could not be trusted not to indulge in an orgy of self-torture.

Wicked Louisa had invented a poem which never failed to induce rivers of tears:

"A little, houseless match, it has no roof, no thatch,

It lies alone, it makes no moan, that little, houseless match."

When Aunt Sadie was not around the children would chant this in a gloomy chorus. In certain moods one had only to glance at a match-box to dissolve poor Linda; when, however, she was feeling stronger, more fit to cope with life, this sort of teasing would force out of her very stomach an unwilling guffaw. Linda was not only my favourite cousin, but, then and for many years, my favourite human being. I adored all my cousins, and Linda distilled, mentally and physically, the very essence of the Radlett family. Her straight features, straight brown hair and large blue eyes were a theme upon which the faces of the others were a variation; all pretty, but none so absolutely distinctive as hers. There was something furious about her, even when she laughed, which she did a great deal, and always as if forced to against her will. Something reminiscent of pictures of Napoleon in youth, a sort of scowling intensity.

I could see that she was really minding much more about Brenda than I did. The truth was that my honeymoon days with the mouse were long since over; we had settled down to an uninspiring relationship, a form, as it were, of married blight, and, when she had developed a disgusting sore patch on her back, it had been all I ...

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🌹ROSE🌷
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Do not believe that I can finish!
Reviewed in the United States on April 13, 2020
I have really tried to get through this novel but it is so boring and pretentious. Understand the time and people the novel is centered around but it is truly like watching paint dry or popcorn to pop! Will make every effort to finish and will update my review, if... See more
I have really tried to get through this novel but it is so boring and pretentious. Understand the time and people the novel is centered around but it is truly like watching paint dry or popcorn to pop! Will make every effort to finish and will update my review, if anything changes.
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Jane Atchley
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Pointless read
Reviewed in the United States on January 19, 2021
This is the most pointless book I have ever read. I would have abandoned it except it was chosen for the book club of which I am a part. I don''t care how excentric British aristocrats are or were. I don''t understand why anyone does. I realize I am in th minority here, but... See more
This is the most pointless book I have ever read. I would have abandoned it except it was chosen for the book club of which I am a part. I don''t care how excentric British aristocrats are or were. I don''t understand why anyone does. I realize I am in th minority here, but it makes me sad I paid $14 (think it was) for this book. What a waste.
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S. Morrison
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
If you love "Jeeves and Wooster," and that stereotype of very funny Brits, you will love these two novels.
Reviewed in the United States on July 13, 2015
There are two books in one here, two of the trilogy that is Nancy Mitford''s best- known fiction. Having read several biographies on the Mitford sisters, I was expecting it to be more personal than it was. If you know the real family, it is easy to see them in these... See more
There are two books in one here, two of the trilogy that is Nancy Mitford''s best- known fiction. Having read several biographies on the Mitford sisters, I was expecting it to be more personal than it was. If you know the real family, it is easy to see them in these characters, but that is only in the first book, "The Pursuit of Love. After the first few chapters, it is all about the fictional characters, and they are very funny. After reading the first two, which are in this edition, I had to read the third one. These first two are the best, and are just plain funny. They are very stereotypically "British," along the line of "Jeeves and Wooster." If you love that kind of British humor, you will love these books and characters.
6 people found this helpful
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Dixie Laite
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A 20th century Jane Austen
Reviewed in the United States on June 21, 2011
It''s hard for me to imagine a reader NOT liking, much less not adoring, Nancy Mitford''s two great novels, The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate. I usually read non-fiction, and come to most novels warily as I''ve been too-often disappointed in what turned out to be... See more
It''s hard for me to imagine a reader NOT liking, much less not adoring, Nancy Mitford''s two great novels, The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate. I usually read non-fiction, and come to most novels warily as I''ve been too-often disappointed in what turned out to be trite, dull or just relentlessly unengaging. From the first chapter I was hooked on Mitford, and I''ve become a fervent evangelist ever since. Her prose is fantastic, her characters really come to life (Uncle Matthew is a favorite), and the subtle humor is, well, delightful seems the best word, in that her take on life seems full of delight -- at human foibles, goodness and ridiculousness. I loved both books, and found both really funny, engrossing, and surprisingly touching.

Anyway, the books are, and are likely to remain, my favorite novels of all time. I sorely wish I''d read them as a young woman; I think my life might actually have gone differently, that''s how inspired I am by Ms. Mitford''s perspective and the Zeitgeist she describes.
9 people found this helpful
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller, author of military fiction including MRS. LIEUTENANT, LCDR MOLLIE SANDERS, SOLOMON'S JUSTICE; espionage and cozy mystery fiction; and nonfiction
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Renewing an old acquaintance
Reviewed in the United States on January 29, 2008
I first read "The Pursuit of Love" many years ago, but the humorous escapades of Fa and the Bolter have always remained in my mind. Reminded of the Mitford family by the recent publication of the sisters'' letters, I reread "The Pursuit of Love." I found it as thoroughly... See more
I first read "The Pursuit of Love" many years ago, but the humorous escapades of Fa and the Bolter have always remained in my mind. Reminded of the Mitford family by the recent publication of the sisters'' letters, I reread "The Pursuit of Love." I found it as thoroughly entertaining as I found it the first time. And reading "Love in a Cold Climate" was another enjoyable experience as I wanted to know more about this zany extended family.

Watching the current PBS "Complete Jane Austen" series, I find it amusing how many things did not change among the English upper classes in the over 100 years between Jane Austen''s novels and Nancy Mitford''s novels.
-- Phyllis Zimbler Miller
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Hoople
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
DELIGHTFUL reading
Reviewed in the United States on July 23, 2010
Based on lives (focusing on one Linda) of privilege in England before and briefly during WWII, The Pursuit of Love is full of character, insight, wit and fantastic characters. The view this book offers of an existence few of us will ever know is never off-putting. I felt... See more
Based on lives (focusing on one Linda) of privilege in England before and briefly during WWII, The Pursuit of Love is full of character, insight, wit and fantastic characters. The view this book offers of an existence few of us will ever know is never off-putting. I felt what she did for the people her characters are drawn from and I smiled and laughed a lot. Mitford''s writing is full of warmth, heart and bright humor. The delivery is honest and natural. Her style is, of course, wonderfully English. A story I did not want to end. Great, great fun.

Update: Just read Love in a Cold Climate. Not as cohesive and enthralling as The Pursuit of Love but very, very good. Loved this book.
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the little hill
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Witty, entertaining chronicle of a lost age
Reviewed in the United States on January 1, 2009
I''d read Mitford''s books on Louis XIV and La Pompadour prior to these largely autobiographical novels. Mitford writes in an easy, flowing, engaging style. These two novels are highly entertaining and yet insightful, ironic -- "I don''t know quite why, but I felt... See more
I''d read Mitford''s books on Louis XIV and La Pompadour prior to these largely autobiographical novels. Mitford writes in an easy, flowing, engaging style.

These two novels are highly entertaining and yet insightful, ironic -- "I don''t know quite why, but I felt somehow that Linda had been once more deceived in her emotions, that this explorer in the sandy waste had only seen another mirage. The lake was there, the trees were there, the thirsty camels had gone down to have their evening drink; alas, a few steps forward would reveal nothing but dust and desert as before." - The Pursuit of Love

Highly worthwhile reading.
2 people found this helpful
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J. mcgraw
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
real entertainment
Reviewed in the United States on July 29, 2011
i read her book on versailles and was amazed at how informative and chatty it was. quite a relief from dry history books on the subject. actually quite gossipy. so decided to look into other books of hers. read the double volume pursuit of love and love in a cold climate... See more
i read her book on versailles and was amazed at how informative and chatty it was. quite a relief from dry history books on the subject. actually quite gossipy. so decided to look into other books of hers. read the double volume pursuit of love and love in a cold climate first. this is the best way to begin anyway since one continues the story of the first but from another character''s story. am in the process of reading the narrator''s own story in don''t tell alfred. all have the same characters in essence so it is good to start at the beginning to be fully informed. very easy to read. the pursuit of love was a little slow initially until all the basic characters were introduced then it became a book not to be put down. this continued in the following love in a cold climate. i really like reading her books. the blessing will be next.
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H J HEINEMANN
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Interesting story; the second hand copy was in an excellent condition.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 14, 2019
The book arrived on the agreed date. It was in an excellent condition. The book itself I knew, but I had mislaid it.
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Judy Postello
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Classic Lit with basis in truth
Reviewed in Canada on January 10, 2013
I am on a binge of Edwardian lit since Gosford Park came out and have searched out old and new books about this period. Nancy Mitford is a great one to read since she lived it at its most eccentric.
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Carrie Hildebrand
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
My book arrived very quickly, but it is clearly ...
Reviewed in Canada on August 13, 2015
My book arrived very quickly, but it is clearly not "new" as advertised. It''s a bit banged up and looks used, so it was a bit too expensive for that level of quality.
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The Pursuit high quality of Love & Love in a high quality Cold Climate: Two Novels outlet online sale

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The Pursuit high quality of Love & Love in a high quality Cold Climate: Two Novels outlet online sale

The Pursuit high quality of Love & Love in a high quality Cold Climate: Two Novels outlet online sale

The Pursuit high quality of Love & Love in a high quality Cold Climate: Two Novels outlet online sale

The Pursuit high quality of Love & Love in a high quality Cold Climate: Two Novels outlet online sale

The Pursuit high quality of Love & Love in a high quality Cold Climate: Two Novels outlet online sale

The Pursuit high quality of Love & Love in a high quality Cold Climate: Two Novels outlet online sale

The Pursuit high quality of Love & Love in a high quality Cold Climate: Two Novels outlet online sale

The Pursuit high quality of Love & Love in a high quality Cold Climate: Two Novels outlet online sale

The Pursuit high quality of Love & Love in a high quality Cold Climate: Two Novels outlet online sale

The Pursuit high quality of Love & Love in a high quality Cold Climate: Two Novels outlet online sale

The Pursuit high quality of Love & Love in a high quality Cold Climate: Two Novels outlet online sale

The Pursuit high quality of Love & Love in a high quality Cold Climate: Two Novels outlet online sale

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