Time for Some Mitford Mania?

I know I do my ‘incoming posts’ at the end of every month about the books which come through the letterbox, however sometimes books come that need their own individual posts on the blog frankly (and you will be getting two posts about such books in the next 24 hours) and over the last few weeks a collection of books with a rather Mitford theme have turned up, and you know how I love all things Mitford, so I thought I should give them their own post… so I am.

My Mitford obsession has only started in the last few years since I read ‘The Mitford’s: Letters Between Six Sisters’ which has become one of my very favourite reads. I wish I knew what made me pick that book up initially as now I have quite forgotten. Anyway, in their letters Nancy, Pamela, Diana, Unity, Jessica and Deborah’s personalities all really shone through and all the things they had seen, and wrote about, from meeting the Queen to Hitler, from one sister shopping another to the police and one sister shooting herself, plus the divorces, love affairs and the like I became besotted. So imagine how thrilling that in the past few weeks all of these have arrived…

That to me is like some kind of Mitford lover’s heaven, do admit. You have these lovely newly re-released Nancy novels ‘Pigeon Pie’ and ‘Christmas Pudding’ by Capuchin Classics plus the re-issued Nancy non-fiction from Vintage with ‘Voltaire in Love’, ‘The Sun King’, ‘Madame de Pompadour’ and ‘Frederick The Great’. I don’t even know who some of these people are but I trust Nancy wouldn’t have written about just anyone. The final two hardback treats are Lisa Hilton’s book about an affair Nancy Mitford had and called ‘The Horror of Love’ and Deborah Devonshire’s, the only living Mitford sister, essays, thoughts and memoirs ‘All in One Basket’.  The choice is seems it endless.

In fact I am rather stuck on where to start in what I think is going to be an autumn and winter of dipping into utter Mitford joy. I have already decided that I will be reading ‘Christmas Pudding’ on Christmas Day as a real treat, but where to start next. I think as she has the democracy over these newly arrived treats, as well as all the Mitford books I have in the TBR, I need to pick a Nancy novel next. Should I start with ‘Highland Fling’ which was her first (and I got a fair few months ago) or should I branch out and try her non-fiction and see if her personality comes across as she writes about another woman larger than life with ‘Madame de Pompadour’? Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Do you have any outstanding Mitford novels on the shelves? Maybe its time to dust them off and give them a whirl too.


Filed under Book Thoughts, Random Savidgeness

16 responses to “Time for Some Mitford Mania?

  1. Pigeon Pie is fun, I’ve just finished ‘The Sun King’ which I had mixed feelings about, but am looking forward to the other titles now I feel I’ve got back into the stride of Nancy.

  2. novelinsights

    I still haven’t read any Mitford books but that does look like a gorgeous stash – especially the matching vintage books.

  3. Sue

    I have listened to unabridged audiobooks of Nancy Mitford books – the three semi autobiographical based around Love in a Cold Climate, just wonderful. I’m glad the other books have been rereleased as I certainly fancy the rest.

    I have just finished the Deborah Devonshire/Patrick Leigh Fermor letters which were also fabulous. DD is one of those people who seems to have been in the front row for major events throughout the 20th and 21st century. Her wry way of talking about hereself and the love and awe when talking about all of her sisters is very compelling.

    Oh dear. A trip to Watestones methinks (sorry no independent booksellers near me)!

    • Be very careful if you go into Waterstones actually Sue as I ended up drooling over the Complete Novels of Nancy Mitford which has come out as a massive omnibus by Penguin. Even though I have them all I was still very tempted.

    • I’m so pleased you like the DD and Leigh Fermor letters. I have those on the TBR too and have been meaning to get to them, though Granny Savidge Reads said they made her cross.

  4. Oooh, what a nice stack of Mitfords you have there! I caught Mitford mania last year when I read The Sisters: Saga of the Mitford Family by Mary S. Lovell but have yet to read anything by Nancy Mitford…I do have The Pursuit of Love on my shelves, though.

  5. Yes, I do. Love in a Cold Climate is waiting on one of my piles – soon. How I envy you your Mitford mania!

  6. gaskella

    I have only read Love in a cold climate, but thanks to my late Mum have a full collection of most of the rest of Nancy’s output to read, plus the letters, and Debo’s latest – so that’s quite a lot really! I ought to get reading some of them.

  7. I am slightly obsessed by the Mitfords. I love their letters to each other, and to other people like Evelyn Waugh. Decca’s autobiographies are also fascinating reading. I haven’t heard ofthe Lisa Hilton book though, so will now have to try and track it down!

    • I must put the Nancy and Evelyn letters on my Christmas list. I must, I must, I must.

      I heard Lisa Hilton on the radio and liked the sound of her, she sounded like a Mitford fan so I’m hoping it’s good.

  8. I am slightly obsessed by the Mitfords. I love their letters to each other, and to other people like Evelyn Waugh. Decca’s autobiographies are also fascinating reading. I haven’t heard of the Lisa Hilton book though, so will now have to try and track it down!

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