Life in a Cold Climate: Nancy Mitford; The Biography

Pegasus. Dec. 2019. 444p. ISBN 9781643133034. $29.95. biog
With this latest work, Thompson (Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life) paints a vivid picture of the ups and downs of prominent English novelist and biographer Nancy Mitford (1904–73). Drawing from Mitford’s body of work, as well as a myriad of personal letters and the author’s interviews with family and acquaintances, this work by Thompson demonstrates how closely Mitford’s life mirrored her work, from her experiences as a member of the upper class to the relationships she held most dear. Thompson seamlessly blends the narrative of the Mitford family with the historical events of the time, highlighting the tremendous part Mitford and her family played in British history. The Mitford sisters have been covered widely in print, such as in Mary S. Lovell’s The Mitford Girls; however, with this work, Thompson crafts an empathetic viewpoint as she breaks down public assumptions to help readers gain a better understanding of the woman behind the persona.
VERDICT Highly recommended for fans of literary biographies, as well as those interested in British history and dramas. The combination of poetic prose and dedicated research makes this an accessible an delightful read.

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