There is much more to her work, technically and substantively, than meets the eye, but if only the reader can stop wallowing in pleasure long enough to notice it.Relayed by the clear-sighted and adorable Fanny we share her agonies about being house guest at Hampton, acutely aware of her uncontrollable hair and ill-fitting tweed skirt and fending off questions about her infamous mother the Bolter. We share her delight in the luxuries of Hampton, the copies of the Tatler in the long gallery, Cooper's Oxford (marmalade) in the breakfast room and the fashionable Mrs Chaddesley Corbett with her diamond clips and scandalous gossip. And of course, we share her love of the Alconleigh crowd; mad Uncle Matthew, hyperchondriac Davey and outrageous Jassy and Victoria. I re-read Love in a Cold Climate every five years or so and, as with the best novels, I read more into it each time.
This time I was struck by the sadness of Polly and her strained relationship with her mother, Lady Montdore. I'm very fond of my copy with its frozen rose on the cover, but I love some of the vintage editions on pinterest.