08 July 2018

from The Pursuit of Love (Nancy Mitford)

But Christian's politics did not bore her. As they walked back from his father's house
that evening he had taken her for a tour of the world. He showed her Fascism in Italy, Nazism in Germany, civil war in Spain, inadequate Socialism in France, tyranny in Africa, starvation in Asia,  reaction in America and Right-wing blight in England. Only the U.S.S.R., Norway and Mexico came in for a modicum of praise.


Feeling provincial, up in London for the day and determined to see a little life, I made Davey give me luncheon at the Ritz. This had a still further depressing effect on my spirits. My clothes, so nice and suitable for the George, so much admired by the other dons' wives ('My dear, where did you get that lovely tweed?') , were, I now realized, almost bizarre in their dowdiness; it was the floating panels of taffeta all over again. I thought of those dear little black children, three of them now, in their nursery at home, and of dear Alfred in his study, but just for the moment this thought was no consolation. I passionately longed to have a tiny fur hat, or a tiny ostrich hat, like the two ladies at the next table. I longed for a neat black dress, diamond clips and a dark mink coat, shoes like surgical boots, long crinkly black suède gloves, and smooth polished hair. When I tried to explain all this to Davey, he remarked absentmindedly: 

'Oh, but it doesn’t matter a bit for you, Fanny, and, after all, how can you have time for les petits soins de la personne with so many other, more important things to think of.'

I suppose he thought this would cheer me up.

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