Voltaire in Love

Voltaire in Love

Nancy Mitford

Literature & Fiction / Biographies & Memoirs

The inimitable Nancy Mitford's account of Voltaire's sixteen-year affair with the comely Marquise du Châtelet--in her own right a renowned mathematician and original expositor of Newtonian ideas--is a spirited romp in the company of two extraordinary individuals as well as an erudite and gossipy guide to French high society during the Enlightenment. The lusty and algebra-obsessed marquise, it so happens, was also in love with another mathematician, Maupertuis, and devoted to gambling besides. She had a rival for Voltaire's affections in the future Frederick the Great of Prussia, and later in the scampish philosophe's own niece. There was, at least, no jealous husband to contend with; the Marquis du Châtelet, the author assures us, always behaved perfectly. It was in fact the couple's Parisian contemporaries who reacted the worst, not so much with sexual jealously as at the thought of their brilliant conversation wasted on the windswept hills of Champagne,...
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The Sun King

The Sun King

Nancy Mitford

Literature & Fiction / Biographies & Memoirs

The Sun King is a dazzling double portrait of Louis XIV and Versailles, the opulent court from which he ruled. With characteristic élan, Nancy Mitford reconstructs the daily life of king and courtiers during France's golden age, offering vivid sketches of the architects, artists, and gardeners responsible for the creation of the most magnificent palace Europe had yet seen. Mitford lays bare the complex and deadly intrigues in the stateroom and the no less high-stakes power struggles in the bedroom. At the center of it all is Louis XIV himself, the demanding, mercurial, but remarkably resilient sovereign who guided France through nearly three quarters of the Grand Siècle.Brimming with sumptuous detail and delicious bons mots, and written in a witty, conversational style, The Sun King restores a distant glittering century to vibrant life.
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The Penguin Complete Novels of Nancy Mitford

The Penguin Complete Novels of Nancy Mitford

Nancy Mitford

Literature & Fiction / Biographies & Memoirs

Available together for the first time in many years, and here in one edition, are ALL eight of Nancy Mitford's sparklingly astute, hilarious and completely unputdownable novels, with a new introduction by India Knight. Published over a period of 30 years, they provide a wonderful glimpse of the bright young things of the thirties, forties, fifties and sixties in the city and in the shires; firmly ensconced at home or making a go of it abroad; and what the upper classes really got up to in peace and in war.
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Frederick the Great

Frederick the Great

Nancy Mitford

Literature & Fiction / Biographies & Memoirs

The Prussian king Frederick II (1712--1786) is perhaps best known for successfully defending his tiny country against the three great European powers of France, Austria, and Russia during the Seven Years' War (1756--1763), a feat that allowed Great Britain to limit its engagement on the Continent and emerge as the world's leading colonial power, as summed up in William Pitt's famous claim that "America was won in Germany." But in his youth, tormented by a spectacularly cruel and dyspeptic father, this future military genius was drawn first to the flute and French poetry, and throughout his long life counted nothing more important than the company of good friends and great wits. This was especially evident in his longstanding, loving, and vexing relationship with Voltaire. An absolute ruler allergic to pomp, a nonhunter who wore no spurs, a reformer of great zeal who maintained complete freedom of the press and religion and cleaned up his country's courts, a fiscal...
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Highland Fling

Highland Fling

Nancy Mitford

Literature & Fiction / Biographies & Memoirs

In Highland Fling—Nancy Mitford’s first novel, published in 1931—a set of completely incompatible and hilariously eccentric characters collide in a Scottish castle, where bright young things play pranks on their stodgy elders until the frothy plot climaxes in ghost sightings and a dramatic fire. Inspired in part by Mitford’s youthful infatuation with a Scottish aristocrat, her story follows young Jane Dacre to a shooting party at Dulloch Castle, where she tramps around a damp and chilly moor on a hunting expedition with formidable Lady Prague, xenophobic General Murgatroyd, one-eyed Admiral Wenceslaus, and an assortment of other ancient and gouty peers of the realm, while falling in love with Albert, a surrealist painter with a mischievous sense of humor. Lighthearted and sparkling with witty banter, Highland Fling was Mitford’s first foray into the delightful fictional world for which the author of The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate later became so celebrated. With an Introduction by Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey.From AudioFileRosemary Davis reads Nancy Mitford's 1931 novel as if it's a family story. Her familiarity with the characters and events draws the reader into this story of an English artist who meets his future bride while attending a house party in Scotland. Davis's English accent is totally lucid and effective; she moves effortlessly into the recitation of a lengthy Scottish ballad with wonderful clarity. The recitation is one of the many high points in this rounded tale of romance and English class discord. Davis's ability to make serious points without pomposity and to convey Mitford's humor make listening to this tale a joy. D.P.D. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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Nancy Mitford

Nancy Mitford

Nancy Mitford

Literature & Fiction / Biographies & Memoirs

The autobiography Nancy Mitford intended to write herself.' Daily Mail 'A hotline to Nancy Mitford.' Deborah Moggach 'Weep with laughter.' India Knight, London Review of Books Nancy Mitford was the eldest and most famous of the Mitford sisters. A relentless tease, she wrote brilliantly satirical novels about her family and those around her. But what was her waspish sense of humour like for her friends? This intimate biography draws a witty, real-life portrait of Nancy, based on the letters she intended to use for her autobiography. The result is a sparkling and irresistible portrait filled with her unique voice and endless addiction to gossip and shrieking!
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Christmas Pudding and Pigeon Pie

Christmas Pudding and Pigeon Pie

Nancy Mitford

Literature & Fiction / Biographies & Memoirs

Christmas Pudding and Pigeon Pie are two sparkling comedies from early in the career of Nancy Mitford, beloved author of The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate, here published in one volume with a new introduction by Jane Smiley.In Christmas Pudding, an array of colorful characters converge on the hunt-obsessed Lady Bobbin’s country house, including her rebellious daughter Philadelphia, the girl’s pompous suitor, a couple of children obsessed with newspaper death notices, and an aspiring writer whose serious first novel has been acclaimed as the funniest book of the year, to his utter dismay. In Pigeon Pie, set at the outbreak of World War II, Lady Sophia Garfield dreams of becoming a beautiful spy but manages not to notice a nest of German agents right under her nose, until the murder of her maid and kidnapping of her beloved bulldog force them on her attention, with heroic results. Delivered with a touch lighter than that of Mitford’s later masterpieces but no less entertaining, these comedies combine glamour, wit, and fiendishly absurd plots into irresistible literary confections.
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