Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford (1949)

Love in a Cold Climate

Love in a Cold Climate (1949) was the follow-up novel to The Pursuit of Love (1945) by British novelist, biographer, and journalist Nancy Mitford (1904 – 1973). Not a sequel but a companion volume of sorts to its predecessor, like Mitford’s other novels, it satirized upper-class life in England. 

The Pursuit of Love was Mitford’s fifth novel but her first breakaway success, selling two hundred thousand copies within the first year. It set the stage for Love in a Cold Climate, which proved to be equally successful. 

The two novels established Mitford as a bestselling author, and both have both been reprinted and adapted for television multiple times, among others the miniseries Love in a Cold Climate (2001) and The Pursuit of Love (2021). Read More→

The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford (1945)

The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford

The Pursuit of Love (1945) was British author Nancy Mitford’s fifth novel, and her first breakout success. The first of what was to become a trilogy, it was followed by Love in a Cold Climate (1949; arguably the best known of her many works) and Don’t Tell Alfred (1960).

The Pursuit of Love sold two hundred thousand copies within the first year, making Nancy Mitford financially independent for the first time in her life.

Adapted as a television miniseries in 2021, The Pursuit of Love marked the directorial debut of Emily Mortimer (who also had the role of Fanny’s mother, “the Bolter”). This well-received three-part series revitalized interest in Mitford’s work, much as earlier adaptations of Love in a Cold Climate had done. Read More→

Nancy Mitford, author of Love in a Cold Climate

Nancy Mitford, British novelist and journalist

Nancy Mitford (November 28, 1904 – June 30, 1973) was a British novelist, journalist, and biographer. She was best known for her novels depicting upper-class life in England, often with satirical and provocative humor.

In addition to her two most successful novels, The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate, she also wrote several other works of fiction as well as historical biographies, magazine articles, and essays.

Nancy was the eldest of the six Mitford sisters, most of whom courted controversy in one way or another, and was considered one of the “Bright Young Things” on the London scene of the 1920s and 1930s.

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Early Poems by Alice Dunbar-Nelson (from Violets and Other Tales)

Violets and Other Tales by Alice Dunbar-Nelson

Alice Dunbar-Nelson (1875 – 1935; also known as Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson) was a poet, short story writer, essayist, and journalist associated with the Harlem Renaissance. Presented here are poems from Violets and Other Tales (1895), her first collection, when she was still Alice Ruth Moore, her original name.

Published when she was just twenty, Violets and Other Tales includes short stories interspersed with the poems. Some of this early work hints at feminism and social justice, in a preview of the kind of writing that would become her hallmark.

Dunbar-Nelson would later become at least as well known for her short stories and searingly honest essays as for her poetry, if not more so. More of her short stories, which have come to be known as the Creole stories, have recently come to light.
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Worth a Thousand Words: 4 Trailblazing Women Photojournalists

jessie Tarbox Beals outside the White House

Though Margaret Bourke-White and Dorothea Lange were two of the most influential pioneering modern photojournalism, the field continues to be male dominated. As we learn more about them, along with the two other trailblazing American women photojournalists presented here (Jessie Tarbox Beals and Ruth Gruber), it’s worth musing on why this persists.

A photojournalist is a reporter with a camera. Some photojournalists (past and present) have only taken pictures, and a different reporter writes the text that goes with them. Others take photos as well as write articles. Read More→

Inspiration from Classic Caribbean Women Writers

Paule Marshall (young)

How can writers reconcile the demands of the social and political moment with the demands of their craft? Caribbean women writers of color offer some models in the way they explore the rich intersection of concerns with gender, race, and colonialism through their work.

Anglophone writers with links to African and indigenous Caribbean cultures as well as to the United States or the United Kingdom (or both) express those connections with language, story, and rhythm.

Following are brief introductions to several classic Caribbean women writers, listed in order of their dates of birth — Rosa Guy, Paule Marshall (shown above), Georgina Herrera, Michelle Cliff, Mahadai Das, and Jean “Binta” Breeze. Read More→

The Tenth Muse: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

sor juana ines de la cruz portrait

Juana Inés de Asbaje Ramírez de Santillana (November 1648 (?) – April 17, 1695), more familiarly known as Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz was a Mexican writer, poet, philosopher, composer, and Hieronymite nun.

Known as the “Tenth Muse” or as “The Phoenix of America” due to her formidable achievements in literature and scholarship, she is now revered as an early feminist.

Her writing is the subject of vibrant academic discourse on subjects as wide-ranging as women’s rights, environmentalism, colonialism, and education. Read More→

An excerpt from Rapture and Melancholy: The Diaries of Edna St. Vincent Millay

Rapture and Melancholy- the diarie of Edna St. Vincent Millay

Rapture and Melancholy: The Diaries of Edna St. Vincent Millay, edited and annotated by Daniel Mark Epstein (Yale University Press, 2022) sheds an intimate light on an iconic American poet.

A revival of interest in the life and work of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Edna St.Vincent Millay began in the early 2000s with the publications of What Lips My Lips Have Kissed (2001), also by Daniel Mark Epstein (2001), and Savage Beauty by Nancy Milford (2001) and 

Millay received the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1923 for The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver, her fourth collection. She was the first woman (and only the second person) to win this award. Only thirty-one at the time, she was already one of America’s best-known poets, able to attract huge, enthusiastic crowds on her reading tours. Read More→