Christmas Pudding and Pigeon Pie are two sparkling comedies from early in the career of Nancy Mitford, beloved author of The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate, here published in one volume with a new introduction by Jane Smiley.
In Christmas Pudding, an array of colorful characters converge on the hunt-obsessed Lady Bobbin’s country house, including her rebellious daughter Philadelphia, the girl’s pompous suitor, a couple of children obsessed with newspaper death notices, and an aspiring writer whose serious first novel has been acclaimed as the funniest book of the year, to his utter dismay. In Pigeon Pie, set at the outbreak of World War II, Lady Sophia Garfield dreams of becoming a beautiful spy but manages not to notice a nest of German agents right under her nose, until the murder of her maid and kidnapping of her beloved bulldog force them on her attention, with heroic results. Delivered with a touch lighter than that of Mitford’s later masterpieces but no less entertaining, these comedies combine glamour, wit, and fiendishly absurd plots into irresistible literary confections.
About the author
Nancy Mitford, daughter of Lord and Lady Redesdale and the eldest of the six legendary Mitford sisters, was born in 1904 and educated at home on the family estate in Oxfordshire. She made her debut in London and soon became one of the bright young things of the 1920s, a close friend of Henry Green, Evelyn Waugh, John Betjeman, and their circle. A beauty and a wit, she began writing for magazines and writing novels while she was still in her twenties. In all, she wrote eight novels as well as biographies of Madame de Pompadour, Voltaire, Louis XIV, and Frederick the Great. She died in 1973. More information can be found at www.nancymitford.com.
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