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A biography of the love affair between Nancy Mitford and the Free French commander who inspired her to write her most famous novel, The Pursuit of Love. Drawing on unpublished correspondence, this is a sympathetic and cautionary tale about falling for a philanderer (Sebastian Shakespeare TATLER)
This biography of Nancy Mitford's tumultuous post-war love affair with Gaston Palewski (immortalised in The Pursuit of Love as Fabrice de Sauveterre) paints a portrait of a relationship as agonising as it was intense, sweeping the reader up with conspiratorial ease (EASY LIVING)
Nancy Mitford was elegant, clever, witty and exceptionally beady-eyed about the world. So why did she have such awful taste in men? This is the subject of the historian Lisa Hilton's entertainingly caustic The Horror of Love... Her book is not just a crisply written account of their relationship but also something of a manifesto for a more pragmantic, Gallic approach to human relations (Daisy Goodwin THE SUNDAY TIMES)
Nancy Mitford was an English novelist with a glamour that surpassed even that of her aristocratic sisters. Her lover, Gaston Palewski, was a French politician who featured in disguised form in two of her novels. Their relationship became a tragedy. Mitford fans will love this book, of course, though it says so much more about the compromises and tragedies of love (CATHOLIC HERALD)
well paced and informative (EVENING STANDARD)
This is an account of Nancy Mitford's only real love affair and its title is taken from an exclamation she made to her sister Diana Mosley... it is a story with a delicious mix of drama, melancholy and enchantment (DAILY EXPRESS)
Nancy Mitofrd, aristocrat, author, waspish wit, first laid eyes on Gaston Palewski in 1942 and, for her, it was love at first sight that lasted a lifetime... but the great tragedy of Nancy's life was that to him, she was never "the one"... a compelling account of the 1944 liberation of France and the country's struggle to confront the collaboration... there is so much charm and drama to Nancy and Gaston's lives, embroiled as they were in the key events of the 20th-century (SUNDAY EXPRESS)
The charm of The Horror of Love is its bringing to life the worlds of Nancy Mitford's novels. Its portrait of upper-class postwar Paris, Palewski's femmes du monde extravagantly garbed in Dior's New Look, Mitford and Palewski's shared love of history, paintings and antiques, the glittering parties in splendid houses and the regular recurrence of the Duchess of Devonshire, will surely appeal to Mitford fans, in this book which delights in the more picturesque aspects of its subject. (Matthew Dennison THE INDEPENDENT)
Nancy Mitford - novelist, socialite, most gifted of the famous sisters - pursued a one-sided 30-year affair with French Resistance hero turned diplomat and minister, Gaston Palewski. Hilton's book brings a sharp historian's eye to glittering Paris and London backdrops as this impossible romance unfolds (i newspaper)
'I've given up everything - my friends, my family, my country, & he simply roared with laughter, and then of course so did I' - Nancy Mitford
THE HORROR OF LOVE is a story about two people - Nancy Mitford and the Free French commander Gaston Palewski - who conducted a less than ideal love affair in post-war France. She was one of the twentieth century's most glamorous and popular authors, he was one of the most significant European politicians of the period. He inspired and encouraged her to write one of the funniest, most painfully poignant and best-loved novels of its time, The Pursuit of Love, and she supported him through a tumultuous political career. Their mutual life was spent amongst some of the most exciting, powerful and controversial figures of their times in the reawakening centre of European civilisation. By modern standards, their relationship was sometimes a disaster - "Oh, the horror of love!" once exclaimed Nancy to her sister, Diana Mosley. But the result is Lisa Hilton's provocative, emotionally challenging book about a very different way of conducting an affair of the heart. With discipline, gentleness and a great deal of elegance, Nancy Mitford and Gaston Palewski achieved a very adult ideal, whose story will test the reader as much as it charms.
A feast for Mitford fans, THE HORROR OF LOVE will generate a fascinating debate about how far we all might go in pursuit of love.
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