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The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford

The Pursuit of Love (original 1945; edition 2010)

by Nancy Mitford, Zoë Heller (Introduction)

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1,137327,196 (3.91)131
Title:The Pursuit of Love
Authors:Nancy Mitford
Other authors:Zoë Heller (Introduction)
Info:Penguin (2010), Edition: Re-issue, Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites

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The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford (1945)


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English (26)  Spanish (5)  French (1)  All languages (32)
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
I wasn't sure about this at first. It took a while to get going. I found the characters too superficial and frivolous until Linda heads for France and is transformed. Then the superficiality made sense as context for such an alteration. I ended the book loving Linda. I enjoyed the way Mitford brought to life Linda's reluctant capitulation to love, and the way she becomes more solid as a result. The backdrop of the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War provide a striking relief to the intensity of Linda's personal experiences. ( )
  missizicks | Apr 21, 2016 |
Gave up on this one about halfway through. There were funny parts in it, but overall it didn't really capture my interest or my imagination.
  ImperfectCJ | Apr 17, 2016 |
Humorous in a nostalgic, heart warming sort of way. Fun to read. One of my favorite lines in the book, in response to the query, "WHY SHOULD SHE want to get married?" "It's not as though she could be in love. She's forty." ( )
  Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
I have had Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford on my wish list for some time. It features Fanny, the narrator of this book, but stands alone from this title. The BBC dramatised both The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate on TV in 2001 (Christmas, I think) under the title of the latter, but I must have been doing something else at the same time (probably surfing the internet!) as I have no recollection of it at all! I really should have paid more attention, although then again maybe not, as TV productions, with a few notable exceptions, are seldom as good as the book. Anyway, I digress…

Fanny, who - as Linda wistfully and with a touch of jealousy likes to point out - has such “wicked parents”, lives with her Aunt Emily in the Cotswolds, but spends most of her time at Alconleigh in Oxfordshire, the large country home of her irascible but loveable Uncle Matthew, Aunt Sadie and various cousins – the Hons – who spend much of their time ensconced in the airing cupboard making plans against various perceived enemies - unworthy Counter-Hons - and dreaming of love. The novel follows the children of the family – Fanny and her Radlett cousins, and particularly Linda – in their pursuit of love…

This novel was a complete surprise to me. I didn’t expect it to be… well, such fun! It’s a brilliant satirical novel full of extraordinary characters. It’s totally un-PC by today’s standards and it’s just so funny – such a brilliant, irresistible tale of an eccentric English upper-class family.

It is not often I laugh out loud when reading a book, but I laughed more times than I can count whilst listening to this (and got some funny looks as a result!) – it made me want to go out walking just so I could listen to some more of it! Emilia Fox does such a brilliant job of narrating it.

I also cried. I won’t tell you when or why. If you’ve read the book then you’ll know, and if you haven’t then I don’t want to spoil a thing.

I’m a little disappointed to find that Patricia Hodge narrates Fanny in Love in a Cold Climate, although Emilia Fox is back narrating Don’t Tell Alfred, so that’s good. Hopefully Patricia Hodge will do an equally good job and I am definitely going to either read or listen to them!

If you like social history fiction with more than a touch of satire then I urge you to try this book. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. I am sad that it has ended – I want more!
( )
  Bagpuss | Jan 17, 2016 |
i think i did this wrong... i didn't find it engaging or entertaining, so that's a total bummer. i have The Mitfords: Letters between Six Sisters, so thought it would be cool to read some of nancy's stuff. i guess i expected more wit or more eccentricity, and just didn't find it in the novel. and the characters felt more like caricatures. ( )
  Booktrovert | Dec 26, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nancy Mitfordprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fox, EmiliaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pym, RolandIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Singer, MalvinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vickers, HugoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Gaston Palewski
First words
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.'
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Note: wrong product description printed below! Most likely due to erroneous ISBN. The Pursuit of Love is a humorous portrayal of an eccentric upper-class British family (a thinly-disguised version of the Mitfords) in Britain during the 1920s-40s. Narrated fondly by cousin Fanny, the novel focuses on Linda Radlett and her efforts to find true love and fulfillment.

I think this edition has the wrong ISBN -- it appears to be the same as a book called Who Has Your Heart by Emily E. Ryan.
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Book description
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…

The snobbery and false values of the English country nobility are satirized in these two love stories involving the well-established Radlett and Hampton families.
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The snobbery and false values of the English country nobility are satirized in these two love stories involving the well-established Radlett and Hampton families.

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