Published in May 1940 but set at the outbreak of WWII, Nancy Mitford’s "Pigeon Pie" relates the story of Sophia Garfield, a lethargic aristocrat who discovers a nest of Nazi spies in her own home in London. After the abduction of her maid and of her beloved French bulldog, Sophia becomes herself a counterspy and does her utmost to save Britain. The present paper considers how, behind the light veil of irony about the paranoia that characterised the early days of the conflict, this unique spy story by Nancy Mitford offers a precise narration of real historical events – the deterioration of the Anglo-German relations in the late 1930s, the turbulent period immediately after the declaration of war – intermingled with the presence of biographical elements related to the Mitford family such as the pre-war world of the English upper classes, Unity and Diana Mitford’s connections with fascism and their Nazi sympathies. This ostensible light comedy also draws attention to the reaction of the English aristocracy to the imminent war, a class that had not yet understood how their pre-war lifestyle – that Mitford satirises in many of her novels such as "Christmas Pudding", "Highland Fling", "The Pursuit of Love" and "Love in a Cold Climate" – would radically change after the conflict: Sophia’s elegant furs, her chauffeur driven Rolls-Royce and her lavish dinners in restaurants that serve pink champagne by the bucketload are all part of a world of privileges that would become only a distant memory for that closed, elitist circle.

Class, Espionage and the Phoney War in Nancy Mitford’s "Pigeon Pie" / F. Prina. ((Intervento presentato al 8. convegno Captivating Criminality 8: Crime Fiction, Femininities and Masculinities : 30 June - 02 July tenutosi a Bamberg, Germany nel 2022.

Class, Espionage and the Phoney War in Nancy Mitford’s "Pigeon Pie"

F. Prina
2022-06-30

Abstract

Published in May 1940 but set at the outbreak of WWII, Nancy Mitford’s "Pigeon Pie" relates the story of Sophia Garfield, a lethargic aristocrat who discovers a nest of Nazi spies in her own home in London. After the abduction of her maid and of her beloved French bulldog, Sophia becomes herself a counterspy and does her utmost to save Britain. The present paper considers how, behind the light veil of irony about the paranoia that characterised the early days of the conflict, this unique spy story by Nancy Mitford offers a precise narration of real historical events – the deterioration of the Anglo-German relations in the late 1930s, the turbulent period immediately after the declaration of war – intermingled with the presence of biographical elements related to the Mitford family such as the pre-war world of the English upper classes, Unity and Diana Mitford’s connections with fascism and their Nazi sympathies. This ostensible light comedy also draws attention to the reaction of the English aristocracy to the imminent war, a class that had not yet understood how their pre-war lifestyle – that Mitford satirises in many of her novels such as "Christmas Pudding", "Highland Fling", "The Pursuit of Love" and "Love in a Cold Climate" – would radically change after the conflict: Sophia’s elegant furs, her chauffeur driven Rolls-Royce and her lavish dinners in restaurants that serve pink champagne by the bucketload are all part of a world of privileges that would become only a distant memory for that closed, elitist circle.
Settore L-LIN/10 - Letteratura Inglese
International Crime Fiction Association (ICFA)
https://www.uni-bamberg.de/en/englit/captivating-criminality-8-crime-fiction-femininities-and-masculinities-2021/
Class, Espionage and the Phoney War in Nancy Mitford’s "Pigeon Pie" / F. Prina. ((Intervento presentato al 8. convegno Captivating Criminality 8: Crime Fiction, Femininities and Masculinities : 30 June - 02 July tenutosi a Bamberg, Germany nel 2022.
Conference Object
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Plakat - Captivating Criminality 8.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Altro
Dimensione 124.08 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
124.08 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Caricamento pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/932847
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact