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Literature / The Pursuit of Love

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A novel by Nancy Mitford and published in 1945. Takes place in a shared universe with Love in a Cold Climate. A miniseries based on the book was released in 2021 by the BBC.

Tropes present in The Pursuit of Love:

  • Abusive Parents: Uncle Matthew and Aunt Sadie aren't exactly abusive but don't seem to be able raise their children well, they don't give their girls much of an education and don't take in the changing times so raise them to Victorian ideals.
    • Linda outright states that she is going to hate her daughter before she is even born and becomes a very distant parent.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Aunt Sadie might be distant and unforced but Uncle Matthew is an nightmare. The fact that he is based on the author's father is worrying.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Radlett family could be seen as a high-functioning example. There's considerable love there, especially between the siblings, but also a great deal of not entirely benign eccentricity and some dubious child-rearing.
  • Death by Childbirth: Linda's fate. The doctors did warn her that this might happen if she had a second child.
  • Disco Dan: Fanny's mother is like this about The Roaring '20s.
  • First-Person Peripheral Narrator: Fanny is the narrator, but Linda is the true protagonist.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Tranquil, monogamous Louisa and turbulent romantic Linda.
  • Gay Paree: Linda and Fabrice's affair takes place in Paris. Where better to have an adulterous love affair and wear lots of beautiful clothes?
  • Genteel Interbellum Setting: Much of the book takes place in aristocratic British society between the wars, although WWII does intrude eventually.
  • Happy Marriage Charade: Between Linda and Tony, after they realize they really aren't very compatible.
  • Hypochondriac: Davey, who rather enjoys it. "His health was his hobby."
  • La Résistance: Fabrice becomes a hero of the French Resistance after the Germans invade.
  • The Mistress: Linda, to Fabrice.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: The Radletts have seven children: Lousia, Linda, Bob, Jassy, Matt, Robin and Victoria.
  • Nazi Nobleman: Downplayed with Sir Leicester Kroesig, who was an admirer of Hitler before the war but isn't mentioned to have been active in any Fascist causes.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Fanny's mother, known as "The Bolter" for her inability to settle down in a relationship.
  • Parental Abandonment: Fanny's parents remember to sent her presents but that's about it.
  • Parents as People: Fanny's parents, Linda. They don't bear their children any ill-will, but they're all preoccupied with other things and don't spend much time or effort on them.
  • Parental Substitute: Fanny's Aunt Emily, who raised her - and is a much better parent than most of the biological parents in the book.
  • The Roaring '20s: The setting of the early years of the book.