Nancy Mitford

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Mitford, Nancy,

1904–73, English novelist and biographer, b. London. She managed a London bookshop during World War II and moved to Paris in 1945. Mitford and her five celebrated and politically diverse sisters (Jessica, see below; Pamela, 1907–94; Diana, 1910–2003; Unity, 1914–48; and Deborah, 1920–2014) were born into the British aristocracy, a class she satirizes in her novels, notably In Pursuit of Love (1945) and Love in a Cold Climate (1949). Her writing is sophisticated, malicious, and captivating. Indeed, her boring, bigoted, illiterate lords and amoral, irresponsible ladies have taken on the qualities of myth. She also wrote biographies of Madame de Pompadour (1954) and Frederick the Great (1970).


See her letters (1993) and C. Mosley, ed., correspondence with E. Waugh (1997) and The Mitfords: Letters between Six Sisters (2007); memoir by H. Acton (1976); biography by S. Hastings (1986, repr. 2012).

Mitford's sister Jessica Mitford, 1917–96, b. Gloucestershire, England, also a writer, is known for her witty and irreverent polemics, and her brilliant investigative journalism. Her works include The American Way of Death (1963; rev. ed. 1998), a scathing exposé of the American funeral industry; Kind and Usual Punishment (1973), a critical study of the brutality of American prisons; and The American Way of Birth (1992), an indictment of the overuse of cesarean sectionscesarean section
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See P. Y. Sussman, ed., Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford (2006), her memoir of her early days as a Communist (1977), and her autobiography (1960, repr. 2004). See also J. Guinness, House of Mitford (1984), M. S. Lovell, The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family (2002), and L. Thompson, The Six: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters (2016).

References in periodicals archive ?
I wonder if Nancy Mitford, who worked at Heywood Hill's shop in the 1940s, was as impressively erudite.
Impossible to convey to others what utter heaven he was" recalled Nancy Mitford.
From GIBSON SQUARE BOOKS we have a reissue of Harold Acton's Nancy Mitford ([pounds sterling]6.
Lord Melvin Bragg has already accused BBC1 of "dereliction of duty" over its arts coverage, with only one programme shown so far this year - a 50-minute documentary on writer Nancy Mitford.
The three hundred letters from Nancy Mitford and the two hundred from Evelyn Waugh (80 percent newly published in the first case, 40 percent in the second) contain a good deal of wit and very few commas.
In an extreme case, Nancy Mitford nicknamed her sister Deborah, now the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, "Nine" in honour of her mental age.
I later discovered that U stood for "upper class" and non-U for dead common and that the terms had recently (1954) been made popular by Nancy Mitford, who was about as U as it was possible to get.
Nancy Mitford, by Harold Acton (Gibson Square Books.
Christian's first acting job, straight from college, was in the BBC costume drama Love In A Cold Climate, based on the Nancy Mitford novel
99) first published in 1994 and the same author's Nancy Mitford ([pounds sterling]7.
But little could prepare her for the far-removed and somewhat bizarre rules of '30s social etiquette at the core of Love In A Cold Climate, BBC1's costume drama based on the semi autobiographical books by Nancy Mitford.