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The compelling love story of two extraordinary individuals – Nancy Mitford and Free French commander Gaston Palewski – living in extraordinary times – immortalised in THE PURSUIT OF LOVE

‘A delicious mix of drama, melancholy and enchantment’ DAILY EXPRESS

‘Entertainingly caustic’ SUNDAY TIMES

‘Bringing to life the worlds of Nancy Mitford’s novels’ INDEPENDENT

‘Oh, the horror of love!’ Nancy Mitford once exclaimed. Elegant and intelligent, Nancy was a reknowned wit and a popular author. Yet this bright, waspish woman, capable of unerring emotional analysis in her work gave her heart to a well-known philanderer who went on to marry another woman. Was Nancy that unremarkable thing – a deluded lover – or was she a remarkable woman engaged in a sophisticated love affair?

Gaston Palewski, was the Free French commander and one of the most influential politicians in post-war Europe. His and Nancy’s mutual life was spent amongst the most exciting, powerful and controversial figures in the centre of reawakening Europe. She supported him throughout his tumultuous career and he inspired some of her best work, including The Pursuit of Love. Lisa Hilton’s provocative book reveals how, with discipline, gentleness and a great deal of elegance, Nancy Mitford and Gaston Palewski achieved a very adult ideal.


Hilton's style is positively edible
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
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, SUNDAY TIMES
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 Drawing on unpublished correspondence, this is a sympathetic and cautionary tale about falling for a philanderer
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
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
Well paced and informative
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
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.
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