Christopher Benfey tackles Mitford biography

Christopher Benfey, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of English.

By Christian Feuerstein

The six Mitford sisters are a source of seemingly never-ending fascination, but eldest sister Nancy often gets short shrift. 

Fortunately a new biography, “Life in a Cold Climate” puts Nancy front and center. Christopher Benfey, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of English at Mount Holyoke, has reviewed it for The New York Times. 

“A stylish and well-informed writer, [Laura] Thompson brings a snobbishness of her own to her sympathetic account of Mitford’s life,” Benfey wrote. “One’s heart sinks with every mention of ‘nowadays,’ a sure signal that a reactionary opinion is about to be aired.”

Read the review.