Out Now!272 pages, Paperback
Nancy Mitford was one of our most gifted writers and her novels continue to entertain and enthral generation after generation. Yet her journalism, while not being so well known, is full of fizzing humour and sharp-eyed observation.
A Talent to Annoy spans Nancy Mitford’s career and includes her most famous essay, ‘The English aristocracy’, in which she introduces the ‘U’ and ‘Non-U’ theory of English usage, as well as loving descriptions of France, her dismissal of St Peter’s, Rome and an account of a visit to Ireland that prompted one reader to comment: ‘Hell would be a more suitable place for you than Ireland.’
Nancy Mitford - 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 brother is recounted in the early chapters of The Pursuit of Love (1945).
She had written four novels including Highland Fling (1931) before the success of The Pursuit of Love, and followed it with Love in a Cold Climate (1949) The Blessing (1951) and Don't Tell Alfred (1960). She also wrote four works of biography.
After the war she moved to Paris with her husband where she lived for the rest of her life. Nancy Mitford was awarded the CBE in 1972.