The Pursuit Of Love by Nancy Mitford is one of my best-loved and most-read books. Taking place in England in the time between the wars, it is full of hilarious, heartbreaking characters, countryside life, and fascinating descriptions of houses. There's the Alconleighs' manor, designed "to rush out from all day to kill enemies and animals", Fabrice's modern Paris apartment with an entire wall of automatic windows, and best of all, Linda's little cottage…
You should really go read The Pursuit Of Love right now, but here's a little taste. Lord Merlin is trying to help Linda out of a doomed relationship — and, scene:
"What he did was to present Linda with the freehold of a tiny house far down Cheyne Walk. It was the prettiest little dolls' house that ever was seen, on that great bend of river where Whistler had lived. The rooms were full of reflections of water and full of south and west sunlight; it had a vine and a Trafalgar balcony. Linda adored it. The Bryanston Square house, with an easterly outlook, had been originally dark, cold and pompous. When Linda had it done up by some decorating friend, it had become white, cold, and tomblike. The only thing of beauty that she had possessed was a picture, a fat tomato-colored bathing-woman, which had been given her by Lord Merlin to annoy the Kroesigs. It had annoyed them, very much. This picture looked wonderful in the Cheyne Walk house, you could hardly tell where the real water-reflections ended and the Renoir ones began. The pleasure which Linda derived from her new surroundings, the relief which she felt at having once and for all got rid of the Kroesigs, were, I think, laid by her at Christian's door, and seemed to come from him. Thus the discovery that real love and happiness had once more eluded her was delayed for quite a long time." -The Pursuit of Love, Nancy Mitford, 1945Firstly, doesn't that cottage sound dreamy? I would love to live right on the water, and I've always loved teeny tiny houses. But secondly, has something like this ever happened to you? Have the joys (or woes) of a home gotten all mixed up with your feelings about your relationship/roommates/job, so that you weren't sure why you were so happy (or sad)?
MORE FICTIONAL RESIDENCES ON APARTMENT THERAPY:•
Literary Dream Homes: Bergdorf Blondes
(Image: Teresa's Modest Cottage)