by rantywoman

Sir Hugh, of the Grenadier Guards, proposed several times during 1932. Nancy considered it, but couldn’t talk herself into pretending to love him. The prospect of his ‘gingerbread mansion’ was tempting—‘one could be so jolly well dressed and take lovers’—but behind her attempts at sophistication, there was a real fear of the confinement marriage could bring… She had written to Tom: ‘If only I had any real talent I would so much rather remain single like Edith Sitwell.’ Then, immediately she backed out: ‘No, I think it would probably be nicer to be married really or shall I become a celebrated demi mondaine, one of the really snappy ones?’ To Mark Ogilvie-Grant she explained that she thought financial independence was the greatest human happiness, and even at the lowest points of her relationship with Hamish she kept working away at it, grasping faintly but firmly at the prospect of another life, one that could be lived on her own terms.

– Lisa Hilton, The Horror of Love: Nancy Mitford and Gaston Palewski In Paris and London, p. 38