NOBLESSE OBLIGE

AN ENQUIRY INTO THE IDENTIFIABLE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ENGLISH ARISTOCRACY (OXFORD LANGUAGE CLASSICS)

A transatlantic import consists of six pieces, along with an introduction by Russell Lynes, and primarily Nancy Mitford's article The English A which had an aroused and/or amused response, led to more than one tempest in and over the tea cups, and even provoked the cover on Punch with the device Snoblesse Oblige. Miss Mitford's article, which was based in turn on Professor Ross' "essay in sociological linguistics" on (upper class) versus Non-U parlance, widened the inquiry from the unintentional lgarities and unforgivable vulgarisms of speech to a discussion of other manifestations of pedigreed behavior. Evelyn Waugh delivers a teasing rebuke; the anonymous "Strix" has his word to say on Posh Lingo an unfortunate institution "like lorgnettes to be used to outface non-U speakers"; Christopher ykes has his projection of T-speech; and John Betjeman's concluding poem which includes all the tattle tale words of the unfortunate Non-U user in very funny.... The Honble. Mrs. Peter Rodd's (Nancy Mitford) social cartography, her trifling proprieties and prohibitions will not cause more than pause to wonder at this classy bit of class consciousness but she has a certain cachet, as do the other stylish contributors. Those who liked the Stephen Potter books and Russell Lynes' Snobs, will certainly enjoy this.

Pub Date: July 25, 1956

ISBN: 019860520X

Page Count: 152

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1956

Categories:

NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

Categories:

TO THE ONE I LOVE THE BEST

EPISODES FROM THE LIFE OF LADY MENDL (ELSIE DE WOLFE)

An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

Categories:
Close Quickview