Life in a Cold Climate
Nancy Mitford: The Biography
By Laura Thompson
(Headline Book Publishing, Paperback, 9780747245759, 432pp.)
Publication Date: May 1, 2004
List Price: $15.95*
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This biography draws on Nancy Mitford's highly autobiographical early novels, the biographies and novels of her more mature French period, her journalism, and the vast body of letters to her sisters, lovers, and friends such as Evelyn Waugh and Cyril Connolly. Laura Thompson has put together a portrait of a courageous and contradictory womana woman who expressed anti-feminist views while living a life of financial and emotional independence; a woman who appeared quintessentially English but who was only wholly able to be herself once she moved to France; a woman who believed implacably that the best response to life's pain was laughter. Approaching her subject with wit, perspicacity, and huge affection, Laura Thompson, like Mitford, makes her serious points lightly. Eschewing cliches about the eccentricities of the Mitford clan, Thompson analyzes the contradictions and complexities at the heart of Nancy Mitford's life and work.