Eugenia Malmains is one of the richest girls in England and an ardent supporter of Captain Jack and the Union Jackshirts; Noel and Jasper are both in search of an heiress (so much easier than trying to work for the money); Poppy and Marjorie are nursing lovelorn hearts; and the beautiful bourgeois Mrs Lace is on the prowl for someone to lighten the boredom of her life. They all congregate near Eugenia’s fabulous country home at Chalford, and much farce ensues.
Being rather a fan of The Mitfords, and having read several biographies and letter collections as well as some of Nancy’s later, better known novels, I was very curious when I heard Wigs on the Green was being re-issued. Having been out of print since not long after it first appeared, it is easy to why it caused such disquiet among her family. The introduction by Charoltte Moseley casts an interesting light upon this, and apparently Nancy took out 3 chapters which particularly mocked Sir Oswald Moseley. There is plenty of Nancy’s famous wit in evidence here, but this is really no scalding satire. The novel is light and frothy, funny and very tongue in cheek, and yet even now after all these years it is hard to see the humor in fascism. There is plenty of Wodehouse like jolly japes – a lovely country house, eccentric relatives and impoverished young men looking to marry money. All in all a 1930’s cosy read – albeit a slightly uncomfortable one politically.