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Life in a Cold Climate: Nancy Mitford: The Biography: Nancy Mitford - A Portrait of a Contradictory Woman (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 5. April 2004

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  • Taschenbuch: 432 Seiten
  • Verlag: Headline Book Pub Ltd; Auflage: New Ed (5. April 2004)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0747245754
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747245759
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 19,6 x 13,2 x 3 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 906.381 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)



'[Laura Thompson] writes like a dream' -- Nicholas Lezard 'A sparkling and deliciously readable biography' -- Mail on Sunday 20040418 'Nancy's life was a puzzling set of contradictions, which have been sensitively unravelled by Thompson's detailed research into the life and work of the English novelist... Thompson, like Mitford, writes in a witty, humorous and touchingly personal manner' -- Daily Express 20040416 'Despite Thompson's passionate enthusiasm for Mitford, she offers a balanced and vivacious appraisal of a fascinating if mildly off-putting woman' -- Observer 20040425 'The force of her identification with her subject means that the books and the life's crises are inspected with unprecedented intensity and intelligence' -- Guardian 20040425 'A biography informed by so much love can't be carped at' -- Independent on Sunday 20040425


Drawing on Mitford's highly autobiographical early novels - as well as the biographies and novels of her more mature French period, her journalism and the vast body of letters to her sisters, lovers and friends such as Evelyn Waugh and Cyril Connolly - Thompson has put together a portrait of a courageous and contradictory woman: a woman who expressed anti-feminist views while living a life of financial and emotional independence; a woman who appeared quintessentially English but who was only wholly able to be herself once she moved to France; a woman who believed implacably that the best response to life's pain was laughter. Approaching her subject with wit, perspicacity and huge affection, Laura Thompson, like Mitford, makes her serious points lightly. Eschewing cliches about the eccentricities of the Mitford clan (although nonetheless delving into the forces which politically polarised this family of 'contagiously and competitive' girls) Thompson analyses the contradictions and complexities at the heart of Nancy Mitford's life and work.


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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Amazon Kunde am 11. Januar 2004
Format: Taschenbuch
Excellent biographies have already been written on the Mitford family in general and on Nancy Mitford in particular. So why another one? It seems that encouraged by the BBC's film adaptation of two novels by Nancy Mitford in 2001 and the brilliant Mitford biography by Mary S. Lovell of the same year, Laura Thompson must have been sure to enter into a lucrative market, which, of course, is the case. But does she deliver what the spoilt reader of Mitfordiana is prone to expect?
It can be said in favour of this book that it is well researched and contains a wide range of detail -some unknown heretofore- which makes it a treasure-trove for Mitford fans. In so far, it tries to follow the standards set by Lovell's THE MITFORD GIRLS. However, Thompson totally lacks Lovell's subtleness, objectivity and sensitivity with which the latter approaches her subject. Thompson puts herself right into the lime light, forcing her own opinions on and interpretations of the facts on her readers. At times, her language is that of the Yellow Press, loud, full of pathos. Generally, a certain degree of an author's identification with his/her subject is taken as a good sign. With Laura Thompson it can go too far and simply annoy.
However, who is not too sensitive about language matters and who doesn't care whether or not the author's voice is in the background may well enjoy this book.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 7 Rezensionen
37 von 42 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Annoying 8. September 2005
Von Megan - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Possibly one of the more annoying books I've ever read. Ms. Thompson tries to write in a friendly, gossipy style, leading her to be flippant about some fairly serious world and personal events. She frequently lambasts other biographers of the Mitfords for reading too much into Nancy's books: but then on the same page she talk about all the subtext in her novels that MUST be true because otherwise she wouldn't have written about it.

Most annoyingly, she believes everything Nancy says. Now, I've read a fair amount of books about the Mitford sisters, and though it's never really said straight out, it seems fairly obvious to me that Nancy was something of a drama queen who exagerated, invented, and stretched truths about herself and her past. And no matter how many times her sisters gave interviews saying "well, that's not REALLY true" her stories are the most interesting so they're the ones that get retold. Ms. Thompson takes everything Nancy has said about herself and her life at face value, no matter how much it flies in the face of reason and record.

She especially enjoys talking about what a terrible mother Sydney was, going so far as to quote a letter Sydney wrote to an adult Nancy mentioning some naughty things Nancy did as a toddler and saying that this PROVES what a distant, uncaring mother Sydney really was. As though a mother reminiscing about a then embarrassing but now funny incident from many years ago makes her a horrible person.

So, no, I didn't like this book very much. If you're a die-hard Nancy fan then I suppose it's worth a read, but I didn't feel that it offered anything that hasn't been said before. I would read Mary S. Lovell's book, "The Sisters," instead.
15 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A Treat! Smart, funny, acidic 27. Februar 2005
Von NYCBookLoverKate - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This is a wonderful book, in part because even more than a bio it is a critical essay about the intersection of Mitford's influences -- the eccentric Mitford family; WWI and II; the fading of an increasingly impoverished aristoracy; the privations inflicted upon England after WWII; English vs. French romantic mores; and many more.

A dry recitation of the facts of Mitford's life wouldn't be true to Mitford. Thompson delves into the world in which Mitford lived to point out and dispel the self-satisfied, scornful tags the politically correct assign to her today. Thompson captures Nancy as a multi-dimensional, complicated character, noting her inconsistencies and pointing to nuances other biographers have grievously missed -- or chosen to overlook (take your pick). Her opinionated lashing and revision of smug assessments and devaluations of Mitford and her work are, quite simply, hilarious.

If you've only read Love in a Cold Climate and The Pursuit of Love, you'll get a lot out of this bio, but to really get the most out of it, try to read Pigeon Pie, Christmas Pudding, Highland Fling and Wigs on the Green (if you can find it). You might want to reread LIACC and TPOL too just before reading this bio. Her bios of historical figures are mentioned in the book, but not to the degree that you will fail to grasp anything if you have not read them.

Just really an engaging book and well worth owning -- I got it at the library, then went out and bought it to keep...
16 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
highly recommended for Mitford fans 13. Juli 2004
Von Margaret Johnston - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Written in a charming and chatty style not unlike that of Nancy Mitford herself, _Life in a Cold Climate_ analyzes Mitford's life, works, and relationships in an engaging and perceptive way; the book is clearly based on excellent research (including extensive interviews with the two sisters of Nancy still alive when the book was written, Lady Diana Mosley and Deborah Cavendish, the Duchess of Devonshire) and a deep knowledge of Nancy's writings. I highly recommend it for those who want new insights into the complex and controversial Nancy Mitford.
9 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Life in a Cold Climate 24. Februar 2006
Von Charlotte York - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
A biography? Not really, she compares Nancy Mitford's life with those of Nancy's fictional characters. Often boring, when she does write about Nancy, its very good. Too much symbolism in this book.

She assumes we read all of the Mitford books.

Disappointing for true bio readers.
A book to read, not to hold doors open with 17. März 2013
Von A Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
This is biography as it should be written. The author brings a thorough knowledge of and sympathy for her subject's life and work to a narrative that reveals the important things and leaves the day-to-day details for the doorstop crowd. Nancy Mitford was a wonderful writer who made an unpromising subject-- the English nobility before and during WWII-- glow with life and humor. She is often compared with Evelyn Waugh, but I prefer her because she presents her characters, however ridiculous or even monstrous, as human beings, not as exhibits in a freak show as Waugh does. But... Mitford was also a snobbish social butterfly with a mean streak, and the author doesn't gloss over that fact, she just spares the reader most of the gossip, galas, and fashion shows. A thoroughly enjoyable book.
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