Nancy Mitford

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Nancy Mitford

Nancy_Mitford’s Biography

Born in London, she was a member of the Mitford Family and was the eldest of the daughters of David Freeman-Mitford, second Baron Redesdale. It is known primarily for his series of novels about the life of the upper classes in England and France, particularly the four works he published after 1945. But in addition to a renowned novelist, he also achieved notoriety with popular and well-worked biographies on some relevant historical figures: Louis XIV of France, Madame de Pompadour, Voltaire and Frederick the Great. She is one of the famous Mitford sisters, and the first to make known the characteristics of an eccentric English family, which has generated a profitable industry that continues to produce benefits in our day.

He was also an essayist, and published in 1956 Noblesse Oblige, which helped to popularize the differentiation between the upper class (U ‘) and the popular class (not U) by virtue of the different sociolect used, although this differentiation was no more than She was a joke that she never took seriously. Mitford appears as author of the book, but in fact it was a project organized by its editors, since one of his novels had been used by Professor Alan Ross, the inventor of the phrase, as an example of the linguistic uses of the class High English.

Nancy Mitford’s aptitudes for comedy and humor are clear in her novels, but also in her column in the London Sunday Times. She excelled as a copywriter and her correspondence has been published in Love from Nancy: The Letters of Nancy Mitford (1993) and in The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh ‘(1996). His letters stand out for their humor, irony and cultural and social breadth.

In 1933, after a futureless romance with Scottish homosexual aristocrat Hamish St Clair-Erskine, he married Peter Rodd, the youngest of Rennell Rodd’s sons, first Baron Rennell. His father-in-law had been a British ambassador in Italy, a poet, and according to the historian Neil McKenna, he was once Oscar Wilde’s lover. The marriage was doomed to failure; her husband was prone to infidelity and lost jobs easily. Nancy was forced to take control of the family’s finances, worked in a bookstore and she was unfaithful. Although they separated in 1939, both continued to look like friends, and Rodd used his Paris apartment as an occasional basis. She also financially assisted her ex-husband on an occasional basis. They were officially divorced in 1958, although Nancy appears in her grave with the surname Rodd.

The turning point in a particularly English life was her relationship with a French politician and military officer, Colonel Gaston Palewski (de Gaulle’s chief of staff), whom she always called “the colonel”, a relationship that had been started in London during the war. At the end of this, Nancy Mitford moved to Paris, to be near him. This story is reflected in the romance between Linda Kroesig and Fabrice de Sauveterre of his novel A la caza del amor. This relationship lasted until his lover established relations with Violette de Talleyrand-Périgord, Duchess of Sagan, a beautiful aristocrat, who had previously been married to Count James de Pourtalés and who was the granddaughter of the American railroad tycoon, Jay Gould. p>

Established in Paris, Nancy Mitford had a very complete social and literary life and was frequently visited by people passing through the French capital, as she had many friends and acquaintances among the English aristocracy, and also among the unrecognized nobles of France and Italy, and among the foreign personalities highlighted in the city. Traveled frequently. Although much of her life was spent in France, Mitford felt deeply English.

Nancy Mitford was a remarkable personality of the Parisian social world, dressed with elegance and even served as a model for Dior or Lanvin. His particular stamp, his special “Mitford” sense of humor that is so well seen in his novels and press articles, was highly appreciated by a select audience. His “jokes” became famous, especially a description of a Sunday in Rome as if it were a village centered on the church. The posthumous publication of his correspondence has grown his reputation.

She was named commander of the Order of the British Empire and official of the Legion of Honor in 1972. She died a victim of Hodgkin’s disease on June 30, 1973 in Versailles. Her remains were moved to England and she was buried in Oxfordshire with her younger sisters, Unity, Diana and Jessica. Nancy Mitford has been the subject of several biographies, the most outstanding being: Nancy Mitford: a Memoir, by Harold Acton (1976) and Nancy Mitford: A biography by Selena Hastings (1986).

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