Nancy Mitford was a character in the English literature scene that I read and re read about and never got around to doing anything about it. I came across two of her books both dusty and filthy dirty in my second hand bookshop in Colombo. I have tried to get a cover picture of the one I have but have not been successful so I guess my copy is old - my copy is printed in 1957.
The story narrated mainly by Fanny (a sensible, not so rich friend of the family) sets the tone of the lives of the impossibly rich Montdores. That they were that rich became known only when they threatened to disown their only child Polly!! The aristocratic and snobbish Lady Montdore was a law unto herself. She knew everything, was the authority on everything and most of the time I really wanted to go shake her up and put her in her place. Unfortunately, no one at the time had the gumption to do so. The aristocracy was aristocratic and they got away with murder - even at this time - the book is set between the two world wars.
The story actually gets cracking with Polly who seems to not want to fall in love despite being amazingly beautiful (apart from the huge inheritance of course). The story shifts from its frothy base (almost chick lit in style and described by many as so) to despair on the part of her parents when she decides to marry her uncle on the death of her aunt. It seems almost incestuous to society at the time and the scandal that erupts at this is one that could only be faced head on by the indestructible Lord and Lady Montdore. The story proceeds at a leisurely pace from Polly's wedding to the time that she returns back from an extended overseas tour - pregnant with her first child.
I found it in the best tradition of chick lit a light story - the Mitfords themselves were supposedly colorful and I think they could write much more interesting copy!!!! It takes us into an era which is completely in the past and for those wanting to reminisce about this age, it is an ideal book.
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