Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Love in a Cold Climate

One morning I sat by my window gazing idly at the pattern and thinking idle thoughts, wondering if it would ever be warm again, thinking how like a child’s snowball Christ Church looked through a curtain of flakes.
I’ve been reading Love in a Cold Climate and admiring it all over again. I’ve always preferred the practical Fanny who sells her diamond brooch to pay for central heating in her little Oxford house to the beautiful Polly Montdore who, like the snow queen, has ‘a chip of ice in her heart.’ When Fanny at eighteen is invited to her first country house party at the home of Lord and Lady Montdore she is acutely aware of her ill-fitting tweed skirt and uncontrollable hair that ‘grows upwards like heather’ but relieved to find the fashionable guests take no notice of her at dinner. Until it is discovered that she is the daughter of the Bolter that is ...

There is, of course, an enduring appeal to coming of age stories set in country houses in the 1930‘s but Nancy Mitford’s subversive humour and gift for dialogue elevate Love in a Cold Climate to a timeless classic. I liked the Oxford setting, too, and all the little references to Fuller’s walnut cake, Cooper’s Oxford (marmalade) shopping in Woolworths and of course the digestive biscuits much admired by Jassy and Victoria. 'Not digestives! Vict. - look, digestives!’

A lovely read for a cold winter.

6 comments:

Cath said...

I really *must* get around to reading something by Nancy Mitford. The family fascinates me. Will see if the library has this next time I'm in there.

Vintage Reading said...

Hi Cath, yes I would recommend Love in a Cold Climate or The Pursuit of Love. I'm now reading Jessica Mitford's Hons and Rebels which is a good memoir, too.

Cath said...

That's another one that's on my list. I also enjoyed Deborah Devonshire's Wait For Me! very much and have just read a biography of Kick Kennedy who briefly married into the Cavendish family. There're a few mentions of the Mitfords in there too as Debo and Kick became very good friends. I find all these connections fascinating.

Nadia A said...

I've never read any Nancy Mitford. I really should get a copy of this one as it sounds like something I would really enjoy. I'm glad you posted about it. What you wrote makes me want a cuppa and a comfy chair to settle down on with this book in hand :)

By the by, I finally received my copies of Outline and Transit. After reading your post about it, I decided to order copies of both. I'm really looking forward to them both.

Nadine said...

I've actually never heard of her but would like to check her out. Thanks for the post.

Sunday Taylor said...

I adore Nancy Mitford's book, especially Love in a Cold Climate and The Pursuit of Love. I have read the latter multiple times. Yes, a great read for a cold winter day!