I’m slowly making headway with my plan to revisit and update all my old review posts. It’s tempting to rewrite them, particularly those from the very first years of blogging when I was still learning the ropes. But I’m restricting myself to changing just the format and adding some biographical info about the author.
I thought I’d start to share these as part of #ThrowbackThursday as hosted by Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog.
Today’s rewind will be from June 2019 and is a book deemed to be a classic: Love In A Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford.
About the Book
Love In A Cold Climate was published in 1949 as a sequel to The Pursuit of Love, with which it shares a narrator and several other characters. It is a book about rich, aristocratic people who believe they deserve their privileged life. Lady Montdore expects her daughter Polly to make a glittering marriage but the girl has other ideas. She rejects all the young men she meets in the London season and scandalises society by declaring her love for her uncle ‘Boy’ Dougdale, (aka the Lecherous Lecturer) with whom she elopes.
It’s usually described as a showcase for Mitford’s “sharp and often provocative wit. ”
Perhaps I came to this book with my expectations set too high. Nancy Mitford was one of the “bright young things” on the London social scene in the inter-war period with a reputation for poking fun at the very kind of aristocratic family from which she descended.
I was looking forward to some shrewd observations about members of this class and some subversive attitudes. But all I found was
a slightly funny book parading the absurdities of a bunch of people who are supremely confident in many things, but particularly their superiority above all other mortals.
Though The Pursuit of Love did contain some humour, notably one tremendous scene which shows up the pretentiousness of a rich aristocratic woman, I didn’t detect any of the much-vaunted sparking wit. It was like a glass of champagne left too long before drinking – slightly bubbly but not exactly fizzing. It’s left me questioning whether this novel really deserves to be considered a modern day classic.
Have you read this book? I’m curious whether I completely misread this novel so if you’ve read it, maybe you can point me to the “sharp and often provocative wit” and persuade me to give Nancy Mitford a second chance.