Tuesday, August 11, 2015


This is an hilarious satire on the British upper class set in the period between the wars.  The attitudes and snobbishness of the upper class taken to the nth degree.

Polly Montdore, daughter of one of England's wealthiest families, shows no inclination to marry despite many attempts to match make by her mother, that is until she announces to friends and family she is going to marry her recently widowed uncle.  This is where the trouble starts.

The story is told through the eyes of Polly's distant cousin, Fanny,who comes from a titled family but without the immense wealth. Our narrator fills us in on the daily lives of the upper classes in great detail and keeps it amusing throughout.

Polly's mother is a wonderful snob and a highlight of the book.

Back in the Long Gallery some of the women went upstairs to 'powder their' noses.  Lady Montdore was scornful. ' I go in the morning,' she said,' and that is that. I don't have to be let out like a dog at intervals, thank goodness- there;s nothing so common, to my mind".

or this gem:

And if I might offer you a little advice Fanny, it would be to read fewer books,dear, and make your house slightly more comfortable.  that is what a man appreciates in the long run.'

I laughed all the way through this and it got even better when the delightfully camp Cedric appears. This is a delight, even the introduction  by Alan Cumming is great.

I also recommend Mitford's collection of letters between her and Evelyn Waugh, laugh out loud funny and very pointed.

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