The unconventional Radlett family is viewed through the eyes of their cousin Fanny, who stays with them at 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 children, despite the delights of their unusual childhood, are recklessly eager to grow up. The Pursuit of Love 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.
Reviewed by Laura Freeman in Slightly Foxed Issue 61.
The Paris Effect
‘One’s emotions are intensified in Paris,’ Fabrice de Sauveterre tells Linda in The Pursuit of Love, ‘one can be more happy and also more unhappy here than in any other place.’ In those first two months of the year, I was very unhappy. Installed in a Foreign Office flat in the Marais with my diplomat fiancé Andy, I was white with homesickness. Each morning, as he left for the Embassy, I would look around our borrowed flat and it would begin. Le brimming . . .
Extract from Slightly Foxed Issue 61, Spring 2019
The Paris Effect
Brimming. That was how I spent my first weeks in Paris. Brimming with tears at the smallest setback. For Nancy Mitford’s Northey in Don’t Tell Alfred, dispatched to Paris to be secretary to Fanny...Read more
Shrieks and Floods
It’s been hard to avoid the Mitfords recently. A collected edition of the letters of Jessica (‘Decca’) was published in 2006. The following year another collection, this time of the letters...Read more
Left, Left, Left
In the early 1980s I began working on my first book, a biography of Nancy Mitford. Four of the six Mitford sisters were then still living, Pamela in the Cotswolds, Diana in Paris with her second...Read more
Jessica Mitford found the act of sitting down to write formidably hard. ‘’Tis now 12:30 on the first day I was to really work all day on the book,’ she reported to her husband and daughter in...Read more