Format Hardcover
Publication Date 12/03/19
ISBN 9781643133034
Trim Size / Pages 9.3 x 6.3 in / 444

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Life in a Cold Climate

Nancy Mitford; The Biography

Laura Thompson

New York Times bestselling author Laura Thompson turns her eye to the iconic and enigmatic Nancy Mitford.

Nancy Mitford was, in the words of her sister Lady Diana Mosley, “very complex.” Her highly autobiographical early work, the biographies and novels of her more mature French period, her journalism, and the vast body of letters to her family, to friends such as Evelyn Waugh, and to the great love of her life, Gaston Palewski, all tell an intriguing story. Drawing from these, as well as conversations with Mitford’s two surviving sisters, acquaintances, and colleagues, prizewinning author Laura Thompson has fashioned a portrait of a contradictory and courageous woman. Approaching her subject with wit, perspicacity, and huge affection, Thompson makes her serious points lightly, eschewing clichés about the eccentricities of the Mitford clan. Life in a Cold Climate is full of the sound of Mitfordian laughter; but also tells the often paradoxical and complex story beneath the smiling and ever-elegant façade.

A writer and freelance journalist, Laura Thompson won the Somerset Maugham award for her first book, The Dogs, and is also the author of the critically acclaimed biography of Nancy Mitford, Life in a Cold Climate. Her most recent book, The Six: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters, was a national bestseller.

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Endorsements & Reviews

“A triumph. No other biography of Christie that I’ve read so powerfully summons up the atmosphere of Christie’s own writing: that singular blend of menace and the mundane.” NPR’s Fresh Air (Praise for Agatha Christie)
“Thompson evocatively depicts English writer Nancy Mitford in this stylish account. This sparkling and probing biography will please Mitford’s many fans.” Publishers Weekly (starred)
“Thompson mines this trove for clues not only to the writer’s inner life but also to her fiction’s recurring themes and enduring appeal. The woman who emerges in this elegant biography—shrewd, elusive, practical, romantic—cannot be defined by the era she immortalized.” The Wall Street Journal (Praise for Agatha Christie)
“The combination of poetic prose and dedicated research makes this an accessible a delightful read.” Library Journal
“A splendid biography. Thompson artfully demonstrates how Christie revealed in the Westmacott novels her pain about her collapsed first marriage, her difficult relationship with Rosalind, and her overwhelming love for her mother. Christie, in essence, was the Elena Ferrante of her day [and] Christie’s flame burns extra bright in the present.” The Washington Post (Praise for Agatha Christie)
“A tour-de-force, this thorough and eminently readable book will delight current Christie fans while also engaging new ones. Ideal for all collections. Meticulously researched and painstakingly crafted. Christie is revealed as an imaginative, hardworking woman who loved life but who also shunned publicity.” Library Journal (starred review) (Praise for Agatha Christie)