Nancy Mitford – Her Life and WorksJohn Atkinson Books
She was born to English landowner 2nd Baron Redesdale. She was the eldest of the six Mitford sisters.
Despite her father’s wealth, she was given a meagre allowance. To supplement this she began writing. This was in no small part due the encouragement of author Evelyn Waugh.
Nancy originally wrote in society magazines, but it wasn’t long before Mitford turned her attention to novels.
Nancy was regarded as witty, intelligent, sharp and forthright.
She was an acute observer of upper-class English idiosyncrasies. With her chief satirical novels were the quasi-autobiographical The Pursuit of Love (1945). Love in a Cold Climate (1949). The Blessing (1951), and Don’t Tell Alfred (1960).
These books chronicle the antics and attitudes of a family of eccentric English aristocrats. Headed by “Uncle Matthew,” who is a lively caricature of Mitford’s own father, Lord Redesdale.
Nancy also wrote four well-received, well-researched popular biographies. (Louis XIV, Madame de Pompadour, Voltaire, and Frederick the Great).
Extracts from Wikipedia
List of works
(Publisher details are for first publication only)
- Highland Fling. London: Thornton Butterworth. 1931. OCLC 12145781.
- Christmas Pudding. London: Thornton Butterworth. 1932. OCLC 639867174.
- Wigs on the Green. London: Thornton Butterworth. 1935. OCLC 5728619.
- Pigeon Pie. London: Hamish Hamilton. 1940. OCLC 709966771.
- The Pursuit of Love. London: Hamish Hamilton. 1945. OCLC 857990796.
- Love in a Cold Climate. London: Hamish Hamilton. 1949. OCLC 563596524.
- The Blessing. London: Hamish Hamilton. 1951. OCLC 752807050.
- Don’t Tell Alfred. London: Hamish Hamilton. 1960. OCLC 757838847.
- Madame de Pompadour. London: Hamish Hamilton. 1954. OCLC 432649137.
- Voltaire in Love. London: Hamish Hamilton. 1957. OCLC 459588409.
- The Sun King. London: Hamish Hamilton. 1966. OCLC 229419330.
- Frederick the Great. London: Hamish Hamilton. 1970. ISBN 0-241-01922-2.
- The Little Hut. London: Hamish Hamilton. 1951. OCLC 317377443. (Play, translated and adapted from André Roussin’s La petite hutte)
Nancy As editor
- The Ladies of Alderley: Letters 1841–1850. London: Chapman & Hall. 1938. OCLC 408486.
- The Stanleys of Alderley: Letters 1851–1865. London: Chapman & Hall. 1939. OCLC 796961504.
- Noblesse oblige: An inquiry into the identifiable characteristics of the English aristocracy. London: Hamish Hamilton. 1956. OCLC 219758991. The book includes Mitford’s essay “The English Aristocracy”, first published in Encounter, September 1955
Collections of letters
- Mosley, Charlotte (ed.) (1993). Love from Nancy: The Letters of Nancy Mitford. London: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-53784-8.
- Mosley, Charlotte (ed.) (1996). The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh. London: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-63804-4.
- Smith, John Saumarez (ed.) (2004). The Bookshop at 10 Curzon Street: Letters between Nancy Mitford and Heywood Hill 1952–73. London: Frances Lincoln. ISBN 978-0-7112-2452-0.
- Mosley, Charlotte (ed.) (2007). The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters. London: Fourth Estate. ISBN 978-1-84115-790-0.