THE WATER BEETLE
These short pieces, some of which have had English newspaper and American magazine appearance, provide fastidious, casual, and altogether agreeable random reading. They range from Nancy Mitford's childhood and the retinue of Nannies and in particular the fondly remembered Blor, to her own taste in reading, to travels- Russia, Greece where everything is either "wonderful or horrible", Ireland and France, to figures from many centuries: Mme. de Rambouillet and other ladies whose salons set the cultural ton of their times; Louis XV and the Duc de Saint-Simon (the Francophile penchant is predictable); but then also the English diarist August Hare and a moving postscript to the last of the great classic explorations, Scott's doomed expedition to the South Pole. The pleasure of her company continues and few can fail to enjoy Miss Mitford's elegant apercus and considerable charm.