Archive for the ‘literature’ Tag

Happy St. George’s Day!   Leave a comment

 

Happy St. George’s Day to all my English readers, wherever you are in the world!

However you might be celebrating your national day, I hope you are having a great time. There is so much to appreciate about England- its history, its natural beauty and culture. The many talented people who were born there and have made all our lives richer by producing fantastic works of music, literature, art, architecture, film making and design. Or who have changed our lives for the better by introducing fairer laws and political ideals (the Magna Carta, the Abolition Act which ended the slave trade or the Suffragette Movement, to name a few.)

We have all been moved by stories of the courage and bravery shown by so many notable Britons over the centuries- Wellington, Lord Nelson, Elizabeth I, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher (only joking about that last one!) that I think whether we are English or not, it is worthwhile taking a moment or two to think about just how much this great island nation has given us.

Rule Britannia! (I’m rather partial to England and the English, you know.)

Gold Hill, Shaftesbury, Dorset. Courtesy of beautifulengland.net

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‘The Pursuit of Love’- Nancy Mitford   Leave a comment

Published in 1945, ‘The Pursuit of Love’ is a novel by Nancy Mitford (yes, one of those Mitfords.) Set among the upper classes of English society during the 30’s and 40’s, it is told through the eyes of the narrator, Fanny Logan, a sensible sort whose sharp observations of the eccentric characters who inhabit her world are brutally funny for their insight and wit.

At the heart of the story, though, is Fanny’s much more glamorous cousin, Linda Radlett. Linda is a hopeless romantic. Raised as many daughters of the nobility were to consider making a good marriage as being the only career available to her, her ideas about love are completely misguided.

And so she embarks on a career as a bit of a ‘bolter’- going from one unsuitable marriage to the next until she meets Fabrice, and her life changes forever.

This book is hedonistic, charming, light as souffle to read and the best way I know of whiling away a few hours. There’s so many terrific characters, from the famously raging Uncle Matthew to the hypochondriac Davy and of course, the sparkling, spell-binding Linda herself.

This is right up there with ‘Brideshead’ as one of those English-aristocracy-between-the-wars kind of novels, but is not nearly so arduous to get through.

If you haven’t read ‘The Pursuit of Love’ yet, you will have a ball when you do. If you have read it, then do admit, Fanny, it’s rather like coming home to old friends, don’t you agree?

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