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The Pursuit of Love (1945)

by Nancy Mitford

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Radlett and Montdore (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,496538,665 (3.88)164
Oh, the boredom of waiting to grow up! Longing for love, obsessed with weddings and sex, aristocratic Linda Radlett, her sisters and Cousin Fanny fantasize about the perfect lover, but Mr Right proves hard to find. Linda must face years with Tony, the stuffy Tory MP, and handsome but humourless communist Christian, before finding real passion with Fabrice de Sauveterre in war-torn Paris...… (more)
  1. 10
    I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (souloftherose)
  2. 00
    Les Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s by Anne Sebba (Imprinted)
    Imprinted: There's an enthralling section in the middle of this memorable novel about the heroine's exploits in Paris during the "phoney war" (Sept. 1939 to May 1940) that will enhance your understanding of Parisien elites of that period.
  3. 01
    Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh (chrisharpe)

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» See also 164 mentions

English (44)  Spanish (5)  Italian (2)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (53)
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
Read 2015, favourite. ( )
  sasameyuki | May 12, 2020 |
'The Pursuit of Love' was not quite the perfect book, but it was certainly the perfect book for me to read just now. For the last few months I've been reading consistently but not always enjoying what I read; this book came as such a breath of fresh air, and unexpectedly so as I had never read Nancy Mitford before and had no prior expectations.

The story concerns the friendship between two girls, the narrator Fanny and her cousin Linda. They grew up together on an English manor between the wars, but as they become adults their stories diverge, and it is Linda whose tale we follow. She enters into a number of romances, each one brought to life in scintillating fashion by Mitford, who possessed a rare ear for dialogue.

If you're looking for a page turner that will delight you from start to finish, this is surely it. There are a few areas that rob the writing of its lustre - some of Mitford's thinking is anachronistic by today's standards (not that we should judge), and if you don't have a good handle on some basic French you might miss some of the cleverer jokes. Otherwise, this is certainly a book to recommend. ( )
  soylentgreen23 | Jan 8, 2020 |
This story was packed with wonderful quirky characters, a number of whom were modelled on members of the author's real family. There were many comic moments, especially in the first half, but these eased off as the story began to focus more on Linda and her romantic nature. Nancy Mitford writes with a clear eye about growing up and the search for love, and the story seemed to get sadder and sadder as it went along. It was an easy read, helped by the author's fluid and engaging writing style and I look forward to reading the next in the series, Love in a Cold Climate, when I've cheered up again! ( )
  Elizabeth_Foster | Dec 24, 2019 |
Nancy Mitford writes with great wit about the landed gentry in England in the 1920s and 1939s. In this novel, Uncle Matthew and Aunt Sadie are finding that young people in post- WWI England are pushing against social standards. In particular, their daughter Linda is a challenge as she is "in pursuit of love." We hear her story through her more conventional cousin, Franny. Mitford skewers the society she knows so well, and many parts of the story are simply hilarious!
( )
  steller0707 | Aug 25, 2019 |
A delight. Mitford’s story, drawn from her own family reminiscences, sparkles and tinkles with humour and insight. It’s a concise package, with countless unforgettable scenes and descriptions: Uncle Matthew’s roaring and his entrenching tool; the child hunt; the Hons’ cupboard, warmed by a colossal boiler from the early days of central-heating, such as might have fitted an Atlantic liner; the narrator’s shiftless mother “the Bolter”; her cousin Jassy intent too on running away, and planning it: at the age of eight, she’s already saved enough money for a bed-sitting room in Clapham. Deft, meticulous writing, pure pleasure to immerse oneself in. ( )
1 vote eglinton | Mar 1, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nancy Mitfordprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fox, EmiliaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heller, ZoëIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pym, RolandIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Singer, MalvinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vickers, HugoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Gaston Palewski
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There is a photograph in existence of Aunt Sadie and her six children sitting round the tea-table at Alconleigh.
We worked hard, mending and making and washing, doing any chores for Nanny rather than actually look after the children ourselves. I have seen too many children brought up without Nannies to think this at all desirable. In Oxford, the wives of progressive dons did it often as a matter of principle; they would gradually become morons themselves, while the children looked like slum children and behaved like barbarians.
"Education! I was always led to suppose that no educated person ever spoke of notepaper, and yet I hear poor Fanny asking Sadie for notepaper. What is this education? Fanny talks about mirrors and mantelpieces, handbags and perfume, she takes sugar in her coffee, has a tassel on her umbrella, and I have no doubt that if she is ever fortunate enough to catch a husband she will call his father and mother Father & Mother. Will the wonderful education she is getting make up to the unhappy brute for all these endless pinpricks? Fancy hearing one's wife talk about notepaper - the irritation!'

... `She'll get a husband all right, even if she does talk about lunch, and *en*velope, and put the milk in first.'
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Oh, the boredom of waiting to grow up! Longing for love, obsessed with weddings and sex, aristocratic Linda Radlett, her sisters and Cousin Fanny fantasize about the perfect lover, but Mr Right proves hard to find. Linda must face years with Tony, the stuffy Tory MP, and handsome but humourless communist Christian, before finding real passion with Fabrice de Sauveterre in war-torn Paris...

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Average: (3.88)
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2 14
2.5 9
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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