Monday, November 1, 2021

Life in a Cold Climate: Nancy Mitford; The Biography by Laura Thompson -- BOOK REVIEW -- and Mitford Book List


Life in a Cold Climate: Nancy Mitford; The Biography by Laura Thompson (2019, Pegasus Books)

In Life in a Cold Climate, biographer Laura Thompson returns to the world of the Mitfords she wrote about so brilliantly in The Six: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters. This time, her focus is on Nancy Mitford, oldest of the six Mitford sisters, author of the novels Love in a Cold Climate and The Pursuit of Love, as well as other novels, biographies, and works of journalism.

The Mitford sisters, and Nancy in particular, have fascinated onlookers since they first Nancy and Pamela first came on the scene in the 1920s and the sisters as a group captured the public’s imagination in the 1930s. Thompson draws from Nancy’s writing, including correspondence with friends like Evelyn Waugh; conversations with her two (then) surviving sisters, Diana and Deborah, acquaintances, and colleagues; and historic resources to paint a fully realized portrait of one of the most intriguing women of the 20th Century.

Thompson’s writing style befits the story of Nancy Mitford. She has a light, often irreverent touch, and brings charm and wit to her subject. Reading Life in a Cold Climate is like drinks with a friend while she gives you the backstory on a mutual acquaintance you always wanted to know more about.


I am nursing a case of Mitford Mania and have started a collection of Mitford books. Here is the list of those I’ve collected so far. These are book by and about the Mitford sisters. If you have suggestions for books to add, please pass them on to me!

All in One Basket by Deborah Mitford, Dutchess of Devonshire

In Tearing Haste: Letters Between Deborah Mitford and Patrick Leigh Fermor

Wait for Me! by Deborah Mitford, Dutchess of Devonshire

Hons and Rebels by Jessica Mitford

Poison Penmanship: The Gentle Art of Muckraking by Jessica Mitford

The Blessing by Nancy Mitford

Highland Fling by Nancy Mitford

Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford

Madame de Pompadour by Nancy Mitford

The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford

A Talent to Annoy: Essays, Articles and Reviews, 1929-68 by Nancy Mitford

Nancy Mitford: A Memoir by Harold Acton

The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family by Mary S. Lovell

The Mitfords: Letters Between the Sisters, edited by Charlotte Mosley

Life in a Cold Climate by Laura Thompson

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