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33 books of Nancy Mitford

One of Nancy Mitford’s most beloved novels, is a sparkling romantic comedy that vividly evokes the lost glamour of aristocratic life in England between the wars. Polly Hampton has long been groomed for the perfect marriage by her mother, the fearsome and ambitious Lady Montdore. But Polly, with her stunning good looks and impeccable connections, is bored by the monotony of her glittering debut season in London. Having just come from India, where her father served as Viceroy, she claims to have hoped that society in a colder climate would be less obsessed with love affairs. The apparently aloof and indifferent Polly has a long-­held secret, however, one that leads to the shattering of her mother’s dreams and her own disinheritance. When an elderly duke begins pursuing the disgraced Polly and a callow potential heir curries favor with her parents, nothing goes as expected, but in the end all find happiness in their own unconventional ways.

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262 downloads

Nancy Mitford’s most enduringly popular novel, is a classic comedy about growing up and falling in love among the privileged and eccentric. Mitford modeled her characters on her own famously unconventional family. We are introduced to the Radletts through the eyes of their cousin Fanny, who stays with them at Alconleigh, their Gloucestershire estate. Uncle Matthew is the blustering patriarch, known to hunt his children when foxes are scarce; Aunt Sadie is the vague but doting mother; and the seven Radlett children, despite the delights of their unusual childhood, are recklessly eager to grow up. The first of three novels featuring these characters, follows the travails of Linda, the most beautiful and wayward Radlett daughter, who falls first for a stuffy Tory politician, then an ardent Communist, and finally a French duke named Fabrice.

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220 downloads

In this delightful comedy, Fanny—the quietly observant narrator of Nancy Mitford’s two most famous novels—finally takes center stage. Fanny Wincham—last seen as a young woman in and —has lived contentedly for years as housewife to an absent-­minded Oxford don, Alfred. But her life changes overnight when her beloved Alfred is appointed English Ambassador to Paris. Soon she finds herself mixing with royalty and Rothschilds while battling her hysterical predecessor, Lady Leone, who refuses to leave the premises. When Fanny’s tender-­hearted secretary begins filling the embassy with rescued animals and her teenage sons run away from Eton and show up with a rock star in tow, things get entirely out of hand. Gleefully sending up the antics of mid-­century high society, is classic Mitford.

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176 downloads

Nancy Mitford’s most controversial novel, unavailable for decades, is a hilarious satirical send-­up of the political enthusiasms of her notorious sisters, Unity and Diana. Written in 1934, early in Hitler’s rise, lightheartedly skewers the devoted followers of British fascism. The sheltered and unworldy Eugenia Malmain is one of the richest girls in England and an ardent supporter of General Jack and his Union Jackshirts. World-­weary Noel Foster and his scheming friend Jasper Aspect are in search of wealthy heiresses to marry; Lady Marjorie, disguised as a commoner, is on the run from the Duke she has just jilted at the altar; and her friend Poppy is considering whether to divorce her rich husband. When these characters converge with the colorful locals at a grandly misconceived costume pageant that turns into a brawl between Pacifists and Jackshirts, madcap farce ensues. Long suppressed by the author out of sensitivity to family feelings, can now be enjoyed by fans of Mitford’s . . .

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98 downloads

When Madame de Pompadour became the mistress of Louis XV, no one expected her to retain his affections for long. A member of the bourgeoisie rather than an aristocrat, she was physically too cold for the carnal Bourbon king, and had so many enemies that she could not travel publicly without risking a pelting of mud and stones. History has loved her little better. Nancy Mitford's delightfully candid biography re-­creates the spirit of eighteenth-­century Versailles with its love of pleasure and treachery. We learn that the Queen was a "bore,­" the Dauphin a "prig,­" and see France increasingly overcome with class conflict. With a fiction writer's felicity, Mitford restores the royal mistress and celebrates her as a survivor, unsurpassed in "the art of living,­" who reigned as the most powerful woman in France for nearly twenty years.

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60 downloads

The inimitable Nancy Mitford's account of Voltaire's sixteen-­year affair with the comely Marquise du Châ­telet--­in her own right a renowned mathematician and original expositor of Newtonian ideas--­is a spirited romp in the company of two extraordinary individuals as well as an erudite and gossipy guide to French high society during the Enlightenment.

The lusty and algebra-­obsessed marquise, it so happens, was also in love with another mathematician, Maupertuis, and devoted to gambling besides. She had a rival for Voltaire's affections in the future Frederick the Great of Prussia, and later in the scampish philosophe's own niece. There was, at least, no jealous husband to contend with; the Marquis du Châ­telet, the author assures us, always behaved perfectly. It was in fact the couple's Parisian contemporaries who reacted the worst, not so much with sexual jealously as at the thought of their brilliant conversation wasted on the windswept hills of Champagne,...

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55 downloads

The Sun King is a dazzling double portrait of Louis XIV and Versailles, the opulent court from which he ruled. With characteristic �lan, Nancy Mitford reconstructs the daily life of king and courtiers during France's golden age, offering vivid sketches of the architects, artists, and gardeners responsible for the creation of the most magnificent palace Europe had yet seen. Mitford lays bare the complex and deadly intrigues in the stateroom and the no less high-­stakes power struggles in the bedroom. At the center of it all is Louis XIV himself, the demanding, mercurial, but remarkably resilient sovereign who guided France through nearly three quarters of the Grand Si�cle. Brimming with sumptuous detail and delicious bons mots, and written in a witty, conversational style, The Sun King restores a distant glittering century to vibrant life.

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49 downloads

is one of Nancy Mitford’s most personal books, a wickedly funny story that asks whether love can survive the clash of cultures. When Grace Allingham, a naïve young Englishwoman, goes to live in France with her dashingly aristocratic husband Charles-­Edouard, she finds herself overwhelmed by the bewilderingly foreign cuisine and the shockingly decadent manners and mores of the French. But it is the discovery of her husband’s French notion of marriage—which includes a permanent mistress and a string of casual affairs—that sends Grace packing back to London with their “blessing,­” young Sigismond, in tow. While others urge the couple to reconcile, little Sigi—convinced that it will improve his chances of being spoiled—applies all his juvenile cunning to keeping his parents apart. Drawing on her own years in Paris and her long affair with a Frenchman, Mitford elevates cultural and romantic misunderstandings to the heights of comedy.

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57 downloads

The Prussian king Frederick II (1712--­1786) is perhaps best known for successfully defending his tiny country against the three great European powers of France, Austria, and Russia during the Seven Years' War (1756--­1763), a feat that allowed Great Britain to limit its engagement on the Continent and emerge as the world's leading colonial power, as summed up in William Pitt's famous claim that "America was won in Germany.­"

But in his youth, tormented by a spectacularly cruel and dyspeptic father, this future military genius was drawn first to the flute and French poetry, and throughout his long life counted nothing more important than the company of good friends and great wits. This was especially evident in his longstanding, loving, and vexing relationship with Voltaire. An absolute ruler allergic to pomp, a nonhunter who wore no spurs, a reformer of great zeal who maintained complete freedom of the press and religion and cleaned up his country's courts, a fiscal...

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41 downloads

Available together for the first time in many years, and here in one edition, are ALL eight of Nancy Mitford's sparklingly astute, hilarious and completely unputdownable novels, with a new introduction by India Knight. Published over a period of 30 years, they provide a wonderful glimpse of the bright young things of the thirties, forties, fifties and sixties in the city and in the shires; firmly ensconced at home or making a go of it abroad; and what the upper classes really got up to in peace and in war.

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65 downloads

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Books of Nancy Mitford