Tag Archives: Lisa Hilton

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.

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October’s Incomings…

So yet another month has whizzed by and its time for me to let you know what has plopped through the letterbox over the last month. I am mad with all things Green Carnation shortlist, my Mum and everything else at the mo so forgive the slightly short and instant introduction.

  • Lethal Investments by K.O. Dahl  – I met the author at Manchester Literature Festival and he very kindly gave me a copy of his book after I interviewed him all about Nordic crime and the appeal of it. This is his latest novel in the series but he said it’s the one I should start with, you can’t argue with an authors orders can you?
  • My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher – I have this in hardback but I think it’s getting a second major push, with an audio version read by none other than David Tenant, I started reading it but I was getting a bit over emotional, I will try again.
  • Divorcing Jack by Bateman – A book to read before I interview him for The Readers.
  • Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons – and the festive reads start coming in. I actually need to read ‘Cold Comfort Farm’ don’t I?
  • Ashes To Dust/My Soul To Take/The Day is Dark by Yrsa Sigurdardottir – another author that I had the pleasure of meeting, and therefore reading, because of Manchester Literary Festival. She was hilarious and the first in the series ‘Last Rituals’ is brilliant, review coming soon.
  • The Doll Princess by Tom Benn – unsolicited copy of a debut novel about post apocalyptic Manchester which isn’t out until the spring but being set where I live the publishers knew I couldn’t resist this.
  • Someone Else’s Garden by Dipika Rai – another novel from an author I met at Manchester Literature Festival.
  • The Good Muslim by Tahmima Anam – another novel from an author I met at Manchester Literature Festival.
  • She’s Leaving Home by Joan Bakewell – I am interviewing Joan next week at Waterstones Deansgate and so am having a bit of a Bakewell-a-thon. I have read her first ‘All The Nice Girls’ (review coming soon) and an now dipping into her essays before I read this over the weekend.
  • The Coward’s Tale by Vanessa Gebbie – unsolicited copy, love the title and the story of two young boys in a welsh mining town sounds interesting.
  • 666 Charing Cross Road by Paul Magrs – I feel a bit bad I haven’t read this yet, but I will be as he is at Bookmarked with Ben Aaronovitch on Monday. I am dubious about reviewing it after I have read it as I know him, and you know I know him. Mind you if you know that and I am honest does it matter?
  • The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz – The official return of Sherlock Holmes and approved by the Conan Doyle estate. I am very excited about this and about taking The Bookboy to meet him tomorrow.
  • The Horror of Love by Lisa Hilton – a book about the relationship between “two people – Nancy Mitford and the Free French commander Gaston Palewski – who conducted a less than ideal love affair in post-war France” I am a Mitford addict of course I need to read this.
  • Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire – the final (I think that’s true) novel in Maguire’s wonderful Oz stories which started with one of my favourite novels ‘Wicked’. Perfect world to be lost in during these autumn nights.

Have you read any of these of anything else by these authors? Which would you like to see me read next? What have you had arrive or been out and bought, borrowed or begged for bookwise of late?

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