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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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1,055267,963 (3.94)118
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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The novel is set in the late 1930's deals with a family of aristocrats in England. The Radlett family live in their country estate in Gloucestershire. The family consists of an ever increasing brood of kids but we follow the life of Linda. Linda, with her love for hunting and head strong attitude, goes through her life living just for the moment and almost instinctually. She falls in and out of love, marries several times and is happy and unhappy violently.

The writing is witty and satirical. It does not take itself too seriously and as our heroine wants to have a jolly good time so do we. It has moments of wisdom and melancholia but they are few and apt. A good read. Some may label it as chick lit but who cares. I enjoyed reading it and that's all that matters. A 4/5 starred read. ( )
  mausergem | Apr 20, 2015 |
According to critic Rachel Cooke, this novel "is an entirely authentic picture of country house life in England between the wars, and will long be consulted by historians of the period". The story is told through the eyes of Fanny who is a cousin to Linda who the novel is really about. Linda was an emotional but high spirited child who frequently challenged her eccentric and cruel father. One way she did this was to release animals from his traps. He in turn used to exercise the hounds by having the children take the role of the fox.

Her first marriage was against the advice of friends and both her family & the family of the groom. It didn't last long. Her next was to a Communist who was so focused on his politics, he had no time for a wife. Failure again.

The narrative is full of eccentric characters who express and hold unusual beliefs. The best example is Captain Warbeck whose main concern was his colon and diet. He was definitely ahead of his time for he sounded just like some of my health food addict friends. Through witty comments made by the characters, Mitford achieves her humour and satire about the life of these upper class snobs.
  lamour | Mar 21, 2015 |
I read something that said that you either obsessively love Nancy Mitford or you despise her. I found myself somewhere in between, closer to love, wanting to read more, but very far from blown away. The comparison's to Jane Austen and Evelyn Waugh seem particularly far from the mark. As is the idea that it is witty, sophisticated mid-century chick lit.

The strength of The Pursuit of Love is several of the larger-than-life characters, especially the gruff, rural lord Uncle Matthew and his more sophisticated neighbor Lord Merlin, but many others as well. The particular elements of the story are engaging as well, but they do not completely fit together as a well constructed novel in the vein of Jane Austen or your typical chick lit. You followed everyone of the main character's love affairs with interest, but without any particular degree of passion or caring. And it certainly didn't end in the form of comedy. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
Found the title in The Uncommon Reader. Quite fun. Quirky family in the English countryside. Just my sort of thing. Three and a half stars. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
This book was nothing like I thought it would be. I found it to be a funny book with quirky characters. The narrator is Fanny and the story is about her cousin Linda pursuing love. It begins when they are children and describes what life was like at the family home Alconleigh. Uncle Matthew who believes that hunting is the way of life; and even hunts for his children to give the hounds something to look for; Aunt Sadie who puts up with Uncle Matthew; the seven Radlett children - including Linda; Linda jealous of Fanny for having wicked parents that left her to be raised by Aunt Emily. As children Linda was in love with the Prince of Wales and Fanny with a farmer. Eventually Fanny and Linda both marry, but only Fanny stays with her husband. Linda's missteps at love is the focus of the story. I found myself very fond of Linda. Growing up she wasn't taught to cook or clean, but to hunt and ride horses. I found the book very funny. It shows a lot of British society around WWII. Linda fit in with certain groups that liked to chat, but in others she fell flat and was a disappointment. ( )
  i.should.b.reading | Mar 29, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nancy Mitfordprimary authorall 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.'
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Book description
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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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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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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