Sunday, May 14, 2006

Champagne Spies

Diary Of A Provincial Lady In Wartime is one of my favourite books. It's about a hapless London socialite in 1940. Pigeon Pie by Nancy Mitford goes one better and adds spying!

Lady Sophie is a ditzy aristocrat who, in between oysters and gossip, stumbles across a spy ring. When she finally realises what's going on, no-one takes her seriously, so she decides she's just going to have a jolly good go at sorting the spy lark out herself. Oh, and be in time for cocktails with Randolph.

After the war, Mitford distanced herself from it. It's politically dubious and was immediately dated - 2 days after publication, the Phoney War ended - but oh, it's funny!

Features the following lovely put-down of the ghastly evangelist Florence: "Sophie wished that Florence wouldn't talk about God as though his real name was Godfrey, and God was just her nickname for him"


klee said...

Oh, how I love the It, Wit, Dont' give a Shitfords.

Nice to see politically dubious thinking runs in the family. I wonder if it's Diana's Mosley's favourite book of Nancy's.

Skip said...

I wonder if you're right? Mind you, it came out in the 70s that Nancy dutifully spied on the rest of the family for HM Gov.

But can you be surprised, when one of her sisters was right of Hitler, another in bed with him, and a third was left of Stalin?

klee said...

And the irony behind naming the most divisive member of the family 'Unity' is too delicious to be described.

Having said all this, the advice to say the word 'brush' before entering a room on the grounds it gives one a most marvellous smile on doing so is priceless. It turns out to be a handy tip to follow during disappointing sex.

Skip said...

hahahaa! amazing!