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LIFE IN A COLD CLIMATE:
NANCY MITFORD THE BIOGRAPHY

First published by Headline Review 2003

Hardback reissue by Head of Zeus 2015

"...One imagines Nancy, at her desk or in her bed, where she liked to write for the warmth, outwardly as correct as ever (impossible to think of her slobbing around in a dressing-gown and eating out of a tin), papers strewn about her impeccable person, endless books marked with endless reminder slips, her hands flicking to and fro, searching for a reference then picking up her pen, her eyes painful and screwed, her ear waiting always for a telephone call ('ma chère Nancy . . .'), her mind cluttered as one of Pompadour's rooms at Versailles yet remaining, despite it all, clear and bright. What a clever, clever girl; and, as with her friend Noël Coward – in whom she had instantly found a kindred spirit - what grit lay beneath the veneer. They had real substance, these brittle jokers, these entertainers, these weavers of fantasy who knew so much more of life than many a 'serious' writer; how odd that they should be dismissed as lightweights, purely because of the obligation that they felt to hide their efforts: because they felt it bad manners, as much as anything, to let their public ever guess how hard they had worked..."

REVIEWS

'Well-nigh perfect.' Lady Diana Mosley, Literary Review

'A brilliant study, original, perceptive, passionate and very nearly as enjoyable to read as the subject's own novels'. Selina Hastings, Sunday Telegraph

'This book is a gem: fresh, intelligent and assured.' Sunday Times