Nancy Mitford's Love in a Cold Climate and Other Novels casts a finely gauged net to capture perfectly the foibles and fancies of the English upper class, and includes an introduction by Philip Hensher in Penguin Modern Classics.
Nancy Mitford's brilliantly witty, irreverent stories of the upper classes in pre-war London and Paris conjure up a world of glamour, gossip and decadence. In The Pursuit of Love, Love in a Cold Climate and The Blessing, her extraordinary heroines deal with armies of hilariously eccentric relatives, the excitement of love and passion, and the thrills of the social Season. But beneath the glittering surfaces and perfectly timed comic dialogue, Nancy Mitford's novels are also touching hymns to a lost era and to the brevity of life and love from one of the most individual, beguiling and creative users of the language.
Nancy Mitford (1904-1973) was born in London. A member of one of the aristocracy's more eccentric families, and educated at home with a clutch of siblings, Mitford used childhood experience, lightly fictionalised, in her comic novels, including The Pursuit of Love (1945). She also wrote biographies, translated from the French and edited a celebrated symposium on English Aristocrats.
If you enjoyed Love in a Cold Climate and Other Novels, you might like Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.