First published in 1949 and just as funny and insightful today, this novel looks at the English ‘county’ society of the era. The characters are so amusingly drawn and are completely authentically articulated – despite what is some very probable leaning to caricature. Told from the perspective of Fanny, the family quirks, scandals, gossip, speculation and dramas of her connections, both familial and friends/social acquaintances have the reader giggling throughout. Initially picked this up after a recommendation from my book club when our theme was pre-1950 (published) author and certainly lived up to the expectation.  

Apparently, many of Mitford’s earlier novels were loosely autobiographical so one assumes many of these characters were known in one sense or another to the author.  I have now put her biography on my to-read list (Nancy Mitford – a portrait of a contradictory woman, 2003, Laura Thompson) is just one available)

This issue is in Penguin Classic and though quite small print, a pretty quick read – 2 and a little bit train commutes! Try it out for yourself – if you like classy writing and gentle humour (particularly poking fun at people!)  you will enjoy it.

Nancy Mitford in 1956

Love in a Cold Climate – Nancy Mitford


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