“Isn’t it awful to love clothes as much as I do, you know, I am not vain at all.¨
Profile of Nancy Mitford
Nancy Freeman-Mitford CBE (28 November 1904 – 30 June 1973), known as Nancy Mitford, was an English novelist, biographer and journalist. One of the Mitford sisters, she was regarded as one of the "Bright Young People" on the London social scene in the inter-war years. She wrote several novels about upper-class life in England and France and was considered a sharp and often provocative wit. She also established a reputation for herself as a writer of popular historical biographies.
Mitford enjoyed a privileged childhood as the eldest daughter of the Hon. David Freeman-Mitford, later 2nd Baron Redesdale. Educated privately, she had no training as a writer before publishing her first novel in 1931. This early effort and the three that followed it created little stir; it was her two semi-autobiographical postwar novels, The Pursuit of Love (1945) and Love in a Cold Climate (1949), that established her reputation.
Nancy Mitford married Peter Rodd in 1933 and they divorced in 1957 after a lengthy separation. During the Second World War she formed a liaison with a Free French officer, Gaston Palewski who became the love of her life, although he was never her formal lover. After the war Mitford settled in France and lived there until her death, maintaining social contact with her many English friends through letters and regular visits.
During the 1950s Nancy Mitford was identified with the concept of "U" (upper) and "non-U" language, whereby social origins and standing were identified by words used in everyday speech. She had intended this as a joke, but many took it seriously, and Mitford was considered an authority on manners and breeding—possibly her most recognised legacy. Her later years were bitter-sweet, the success of her biographical studies of Madame de Pompadour, Voltaire and King Louis XIV contrasting with the ultimate failure of her relationship with Palewski. From the late 1960s her health deteriorated, and she endured several years of painful illness before her death in 1973.
Biography of Nancy Mitford
Nancy Mitford's father, David Bertram Ogilvy Freeman-Mitford was a tea planter in Ceylon he who fought in the Boer War of 1899–1902 and was severely wounded, and her mother Sydney Bowles was the elder daughter of Thomas Gibson Bowles, a journalist, editor and magazine proprietor whose publications included Vanity Fair and The Lady.
Nancy Mitford´s father worked as business manager of The Lady magazine, a post provided by her maternal grandfather, although he remained in this position for ten years, he had little interest in reading and knew nothing of business.
Nancy Mitford´s parents married on 16 February 1904, and she was born on 28 November the same year, her day-to-day upbringing was delegated to her nanny and nursemaid, within the framework of her mother´s short-lived belief that children should never be corrected or be spoken to in anger. Before this experiment was discontinued, Nancy had become self-centred and uncontrollable.
In summer of 1910 Nancy attended the nearby Francis Holland School and the few months she spent there represented almost the whole of her formal schooling; in the autumn the family moved to a larger house in Victoria Road, Kensington, after which Nancy was educated at home by successive governesses. Summers were spent at the family's cottage near High Wycombe, in Buckinghamshire, or with the children's Redesdale grandparents at Batsford Park.
In 1921, after years of pleading for proper schooling, Nancy was allowed a year's boarding at Hatherop Castle, an informal private establishment for young ladies of good family. Here Nancy learned French and other subjects, played organised games and joined a Girl Guide troop. It was her first extended experience of life away from home, and she enjoyed it.The following year she was allowed to accompany four sisters on a cultural trip to Paris, Florence and Venice; her letters home are full of expressions of wonder at the sights and treasures: "I had no idea I was so fond of pictures ... if only I had a room of my own I would make it a regular picture gallery".
Nancy's eighteenth birthday in November 1922 was the occasion for a grand "coming-out" ball, marking the beginning of her entry into Society. This was followed in June 1923 by her presentation at Court—a formal introduction to King George V at Buckingham Palace—after which she was officially "out" and could attend the balls and parties that constituted the London Season. She spent much of the next few years in a round of social events, making new friends and mixing with the "Bright Young People" of 1920s London. Nancy declared that "we hardly saw the light of day, except at dawn".
In 1926 Asthall Manor was finally sold. While the new house at Swinbrook was made ready, the female members of the family were sent for three months to Paris, a period which began Nancy's "lifelong love affair" with France.
Although she was now of age, her father maintained an aggressive hostility towards most of her male friends, these tended towards the frivolous, the aesthetic and the effeminate. Among them was Hamish St Clair Erskine, the second son of the 5th Earl of Rosslyn, an Oxford undergraduate four years Nancy's junior, who met her in 1928 and they became unofficially engaged, despite his homosexuality (of which Nancy may not have been aware).
As a means of augmenting the meagre allowance provided by her father, Nancy Mitford began writing, encouraged by Evelyn Waugh, whom she met via her friend Evelyn Gardner. Her first efforts, anonymous contributions to gossip columns in society magazines, led to occasional signed articles, and in 1930 The Lady engaged her to write a regular column. That winter, she embarked on a full-length novel, Highland Fling, in which various characters—mostly identifiable among her friends, acquaintances and family—attend a Scottish house-party which develops chaotically. The book made little impact when it was published in March 1931, and she immediately began work on another, Christmas Pudding, Like the earlier novel, the plot centres on a clash between the "Bright Young People" and the older generation. Hamish Erskine is clearly identifiable in the character of "Bobby Bobbin" in the novel.
Against a backdrop of negativity from family and friends the affair between Nancy Mitford and Hamish Erskine endured sporadically for several years until 1933 when Hamish Erskine ended it abruptly, annoucing to Nancy Mitford he was going to marry someone else. After their parting, Nancy wrote to him: "I thought in your soul you loved me & that in the end we should have children & look back on life together when we are old".
Within a month of Erskine's departure, however, Nancy Mitford announced her engagement to Peter Rodd, the second son of Sir Rennell Rodd, a diplomat and politician who was ennobled that year as Baron Rennell.
They were married on 4 December 1933, after which they settled into a cottage at Strand-on-the-Green on the western edges of London. Mitford's initial delight in the marriage was soon tempered by money worries, Rodd's fecklessness and her dislike of his family.
By 1936 Mitford's marriage was largely a sham. Early in 1939 Rodd left for the South of France, to work with the relief organisations assisting the thousands of Spanish refugees who had fled from General Franco's armies in the final stages of the civil war.
In 1932 Nancy Mitford's life was overshadowed by a family scandal involving her younger sister Diana Mitford, who had married Bryan Guinness in 1928 bur deserted her husband and their two children to become the mistress of Sir Oswald Mosley, the leader of the British Union of Fascists, himself married with three children. Nancy was the only one who offered her sister support, regularly visiting her and keeping her up to date with family news and social gossip.
In September 1942 Nancy Mitford met Gaston Palewski, a French colonel attached to General Charles de Gaulle's London staff. She found him fascinating, and he became the love of her life—though her feelings were never fully reciprocated—and an inspiration for much of her future writing.
In 1944, with Evelyn Waugh's encouragement, Nancy Mitford began planning a new novel. In March 1945 she was given three months' leave from the shop to write it. The Pursuit of Love is a heavily autobiographical romantic comedy in which many of her family and acquaintances appear in thin disguises. The book sold 200,000 copies within a year of publication, and firmly established Mitford as a best-selling author.
Mitford’s most enduringly popular novel, The Pursuit of Love is a classic comedy about growing up and falling in love among the privileged and eccentric.
Mitford modeled her characters on her own famously unconventional family. We are introduced to the Radletts through the eyes of their cousin Fanny, who stays with them at Alconleigh, their Gloucestershire estate. Uncle Matthew is the blustering patriarch, known to hunt his children when foxes are scarce; Aunt Sadie is the vague but doting mother; and the seven Radlett children, despite the delights of their unusual childhood, are recklessly eager to grow up. The first of three novels featuring these characters, The Pursuit of Love follows the travails of Linda, the most beautiful and wayward Radlett daughter, who falls first for a stuffy Tory politician, then an ardent Communist, and finally a French duke named Fabrice.
At the end of the war Peter Rodd returned to Nancy from the war, but their marriage was essentially over; although remaining on friendly terms, the couple led separate lives, and in April 1946, Nancy left London to make her permanent home in Paris and never lived in England again.
During her first 18 months in Paris Mitford lived in several short-term lodgings while enjoying a hectic social life, the hub of which was the British Embassy under the regime of the ambassador, Duff Cooper, and his socialite wife Lady Diana Cooper. Eventually Mitford found a comfortable apartment, with a maid, at No. 7 rue Monsieur on the Left Bank, close to Palewski's residence.
Settled there in comfort, she established a pattern to her life that she mostly followed for the next 20 years, her precise timetable determined by Palewski's varying availability. Her socialising, entertaining and working were interspersed with regular short visits to family and friends in England and summers generally spent in Venice.
In 1948 Nancy Mitford completed a new novel, a sequel to The Pursuit of Love she called Love in a Cold Climate, with the same country house ambience as the earlier book and many of the same characters. The novel's reception was even warmer than that of its predecessor; In 1950 she translated and adapted André Roussin's play La petite hutte ("The Little Hut"), in preparation for its successful West End début in August, and the play ran for 1,261 performances, and provided Mitford with a steady £300 per month in royalties. The same year The Sunday Times asked her to contribute a regular column, which she did for four years. This busy period in her writing life continued in 1951 with her third postwar novel, The Blessing, another semi-autobiographical romance this time set in Paris, in which an aristocratic young Englishwoman is married to a libidinous French marquis. Evelyn Waugh (to whom the book was dedicated) found the book "admirable, deliciously funny, consistent and complete, by far the best of your writings".
Mitford then began her first serious non-fiction work, a biography of Madame de Pompadour, and in 1957, she published Voltaire in Love, an account of the love affair between Voltaire and the Marquise du Châtelet, which she considered it her first truly grown-up work, and her best.
In October 1960 Nancy Mitford published Don't Tell Alfred, in which she revived Fanny Wincham, the narrator of The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate, and placed her in a Paris setting as wife of the British ambassador. The book was popular with the public, but received indifferent reviews, and she decided she would write no more fiction
In this delightful comedy, Fanny—the quietly observant narrator of Nancy Mitford’s two most famous novels—finally takes center stage.
Fanny Wincham—last seen as a young woman in The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate—has lived contentedly for years as housewife to an absent-minded Oxford don, Alfred. But her life changes overnight when her beloved Alfred is appointed English Ambassador to Paris. Soon she finds herself mixing with royalty and Rothschilds while battling her hysterical predecessor, Lady Leone, who refuses to leave the premises. When Fanny’s tender-hearted secretary begins filling the embassy with rescued animals and her teenage sons run away from Eton and show up with a rock star in tow, things get entirely out of hand. Gleefully sending up the antics of mid-century high society, Don’t Tell Alfred is classic Mitford.
In 1964 Nancy began work on The Sun King, a biography of King Louis XIV and it was published in August 1966, among the many tributes to the book was that of President de Gaulle, who recommended it to every member of his cabinet.
As her landlord on 7 rue Monsieur increased her rent, Nancy decided to leave Paris and buy herself a house in Versailles and moved to No. 4 rue d'Artois, Versailles, in January 1967.
The modest house had a half-acre (0.2 hectare) garden, which soon became one of her chief delights. In 1968 she began work on her final book, a biography of Frederick the Great. After a series of illnesses she learned from a newspaper announcement that Palewski had married the Duchesse de Sagan, a rich divorcée. Shortly after, she entered hospital for the removal of a tumour. After the operation she continued to suffer pain, although she was able to continue working on her book Frederick the Great which was published later in 1970 to a muted reception.
Mitford's remaining years were dominated by her illness, although for a time she enjoyed visits from her sisters and friends, and working in her garden. In April 1972 the French government made her a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur, and later that year the British government appointed her a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). She was delighted by the former honour, and amused by the latter
At the end of 1972 she entered the Nuffield Clinic in London, where she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the blood. She lived for another six months, unable to look after herself and in almost constant pain, struggling to keep her spirits up. She wrote to her friend James Lees-Milne: "It's very curious, dying, and would have many a drôle amusing & charming side were it not for the pain". She died on 30 June 1973 at her home in the rue d'Artois and was cremated in Versailles.
Profile of Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic is a Serbian professional tennis player who is currently ranked world No. 1 in men's singles tennis by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).
Djokovic has won 17 Grand Slam singles titles, the third-most in history for a male player, five ATP Finals titles, 34 ATP Tour Masters 1000 titles, 13 ATP Tour 500 titles, and has held the No. 1 spot in the ATP rankings for over 275 weeks. In majors, he has won a record eight Australian Open titles, five Wimbledon titles, three US Open titles, and one French Open title. By winning the 2016 French Open, he became the eighth player in history to achieve the Career Grand Slam and the third man to hold all four major titles at once, the first since Rod Laver in 1969 and the first ever to do so on three different surfaces.He is the only male player to have won all nine of the Masters 1000 tournaments.Djokovic was also a member of Serbia's winning Davis Cup team in 2010 and in the 2020 ATP Cup.
Djokovic is the first Serbian player to be ranked No. 1 by the ATP and the first male player representing Serbia to win a Grand Slam singles title. He is a six-time ITF World Champion and a five-time ATP year-end No. 1 ranked player. Djokovic has won numerous awards, including the Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsman of the Year (four times)and the 2011 BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year award. He is also a recipient of the Order of St. Sava, the Order of Karađorđe's Star, and the Order of the Republika Srpska.
Biography of Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic (Nole) was born on 22 May 1987 in Belgrade, SR Serbia, Yugoslavia. He is of paternal Serbian and maternal Croatian descent. His two younger brothers, Marko and Djordje, have also played professional tennis.
Djokovic began playing tennis at the age of four. In the summer of 1993, the six-year-old was spotted by Yugoslav tennis player Jelena Genčić at Mount Kopaonik, where Djokovic's parents ran a fast-food parlour.Upon seeing the child Djokovic playing tennis, she stated: "This is the greatest talent I have seen since Monica Seles."
Genčić worked with young Djokovic over the following six years and helped him move to the Pilić tennis academy in Oberschleißheim, Germany where 12 year old Djokovic spent four years there. At the age of 14, he began his international career, winning European championships in singles, doubles, and team competition.
Djokovic turned professional in 2003 by entering the ATP World Tour.
Djokovic made his first Grand Slam tournament appearance by qualifying for the 2005 Australian Open, where he was defeated by eventual champion Marat Safin in the first round in straight sets
In 2008, Djokovic won his first major title in Australian Open, marking the first time since the 2005 Australian Open that a Grand Slam singles title was not won by Federer or Nadal.
Djokovic won ten tournaments in 2011, including Grand Slam tournament victories at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. He also captured a record-breaking five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles, and set a new record for the most prize money won in a single season on the ATP World Tour ($12 million). In the same year, he was awarded the ranking of No. 1.
Pete Sampras declared Djokovic's 2011 season as the best he has ever seen in his lifetime, calling it "one of the best achievements in all of sports."Boris Becker called Djokovic's season "one of the very best years in tennis of all time", adding that it "may not be the best statistically, but he's beaten Federer, he's beaten Nadal, he's beaten everybody that came around to challenge him in the biggest tournaments in the world." Rafael Nadal, who lost to Djokovic in six finals on three different surfaces, described Djokovic's performances as "probably the highest level of tennis that I ever saw."
On 2 Februray 2020, Novak Djokovic became champioon again at the Australian Open, which is Djokovic's 8th win, making him the first Open Era male player to win Grand Slam titles in three different decades. For his 17th Grand Slam win he received 2.5 Million Euro as prize money.
Djokovic is considered to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Following his tremendous success in the 2011 season, he began to feature on all-time greatest lists.
Djokovic met his future wife, Jelena Ristić, in high school, and began dating her in 2005. The two became engaged in September 2013, and got married on on 10 July 2014. ] Their son, Stefan, was born on 21 October 2014 in Nice, France.Their daughter, Tara, was born on 2 September 2017.
A resident of Monte Carlo, Djokovic was coached by former Slovak tennis player Marián Vajda from 2006 until Boris Becker took over the role of head coach in December 2013.
Djokovic is a polyglot, speaking Serbian, English, French, German, and Italian.
Djokovic has been reported to meditate for up to an hour a day at the Buddhist Buddhapadipa Temple in Wimbledon, and he has spoken of the positive power of meditation
name: Norman Parkinson
original name: Ronald William Parkinson Smith
birth place: London, Englan
birth date: 21 April 1913
zodiac sign: Taurus
death place: Singapore
death date: 15 February 1990
Norman Parkinson is one of the foremost British portrait and fashion photographers. He was born in London, and educated at Westminster School. He began his career in 1931 as an apprentice to the court photographers, Speaight and Sons Ltd. In 1934 he opened his own studio together with Norman Kibblewhite, at 1,Dover Street off London's Piccadilly. From 1935 to 1940 he worked for Harper's Bazaar and Bystander magazines.
Once referring to himself as “The world’s most famous unknown photographer”, Norman Parkinson (1913-1990) left an indelible mark on the world of fashion photography.
Full of spirited wit, his "still, moving pictures" set the fashion world ablaze in the post-war years, where previously, according to Parkinson, “all the girls had their knees bolted together.”
His technique of "action realism", conjuring images out of the unexpected, was seen as a breath of fresh air to a world of fashion photography, and humour played a central role in many of his photographs which often included himself.
During the Second World War he served as a reconnaissance photographer over France for the Royal Air Force.
I like to make people look as good as they'd like to look, and with luck, a shade better,"
As well as magazine work he also created celebrated calendars featuring glamorous young women. His years as an official Royal Photographer began in 1969 when he took official photographs for Princess Anne’s 19th birthday and an Official photograph of Prince Charles investiture as Prince Of Wales. When previous royal photographer, Cecil Beaton, died in 1980, Parkinson took over.
In 1981, Norman Parkinson was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
In 1990, Norman Parkinson died whist on location in Singapore shooting for Town & Country.