(1904 - 1973)
“If one can’t be happy one must be amused don’t you agree?”

Novelist, essayist and historian, Nancy Mitford is generally considered to be one of the funniest writers of the 20th century. Born into an aristocratic and privileged family, Nancy was educated at home and acknowledged as the family comedian and tease - the jokes and passions of which went straight into her highly autobiographical novels.  The eldest of the six famous Mitford sisters, Nancy was one of the Bright Young Things of the 1920s and, unlike her highly politicised sisters, didn’t take politics  - or indeed anything – very seriously.  She was the sparkling star of any gathering, using the same infectious gaiety and razor sharp wit of her social life in her novels of English upper class elegance and eccentricity – but always affectionately and without malice.

Her first novel, Highland Fling, was published in 1931, but significant commercial success came with her fifth novel in 1945 - The Pursuit of Love, which was a run away best seller and made her financially independent.  Her follow-up novel, Love in a Cold Climate, was equally successful and she completed the trilogy in 1960 with Don’t Tell Alfred, which was also to be her final novel.

Although she married Peter Rodd in 1933 the marriage was not a success and they separated after the war, when she went to live in France in order to be close to the (unrequited) love of her  life, Gaston Palewski, and she remained there for the rest of her life.  Whilst there she wrote histories of and was a successful newspaper columnist for over 20 years.  Famously, a light hearted article she wrote on upper-class and non upper-class (U and non-U) speech for Encounter in 1954 sparked a playful debate between her and fellow belletrist Evelyn Waugh, and went on to be taken rather more seriously by the wider public.

Read and re-read by devoted fans, her bestsellers continue to enchant new generations of readers today.


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Christmas Pudding