Mitford, Nancy The Blessing

ISBN 13: 9780140012118

The Blessing

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9780140012118: The Blessing

With characteristically amusing malice, Mitford blends a comedy of manners with culture shock as Grace Allingham, a naive English rose, impulsively marries Charles-Edouard de Valhubert, a French nobleman with all his class's charm and decadence. Both are duped, however, by their son Sigismund -- the Blessing of the title -- a juvenile Machiavelli who mixes Gallic cunning with Saxon thoroughness to become one of Mitford's most memorable characters.

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Review:

Admirable, deliciously funny, consistent and complete (Evelyn Waugh)

About the Author:

Nancy Mitford (1904-1973) was born in London, the eldest child of the second Baron Redesdale. Her childhood in a large remote country house with her five sisters and one brother is recounted in the early chapters of The Pursuit of Love (1945), which according to the author, is largely autobiographical. Apart from being taught to ride and speak French, Nancy Mitford always claimed she never received a proper education. She started writing before her marriage in 1932 in order 'to relieve the boredom of the intervals between the recreations established by the social conventions of her world' and had written four novels, including Wigs on the Green (1935), before the success of The Pursuit of Love in 1945. After the war she moved to Paris where she lived for the rest of her life. She followed The Pursuit of Love with Love in a Cold Climate (1949), The Blessing (1951) and Don't Tell Alfred (1960). She also wrote four works of biography: Madame de Pompadour, first published to great acclaim in 1954, Voltaire in Love, The Sun King and Frederick the Great. As well as being a novelist and a biographer she also translated Madame de Lafayette's classic novel, La Princesse de Clèves, into English, and edited Noblesse Oblige, a collection of essays concerned with the behaviour of the English aristocracy and the idea of 'U' and 'non-U'. Nancy Mitford was awarded the CBE in 1972.

Alex Kapranos is a singer and guitarist with the band, Franz Ferdinand. His first book, Sound Bites, was published by Penguin in 2006.

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