- 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: 13,2 x 3 x 19,6 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 2.282.814 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
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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'[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.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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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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...
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.
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