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Nancy

Nancy

[nan-see; Fr. nahn-see]
Nancy, city (1990 pop. 102,410), capital of Meurthe-et-Moselle dept., NE France, on the Meurthe River and the Marne-Rhine Canal. It is the administrative, economic, and educational center of Lorraine. Situated at the edge of the huge Lorraine iron fields, Nancy is an industrial city manufacturing chemicals, clothing, processed food, and machinery. It is one of eight cities specially targeted by the government for urban development. In the city are a noted fine arts museum, an academy of fine arts, and a large university (founded 1854). Nancy grew around a castle of the dukes of Lorraine and became the duchy capital in the 12th cent. In 1477, Charles the Bold of Burgundy was defeated and killed at the gates of Nancy by Swiss troops and the forces of René II of Lorraine. The major part of the center of Nancy, a model of urban planning and a gem of 18th-century architecture, was built during the liberal reign of Stanislaus I, duke of Lorraine (reigned 1738-66) and ex-king of Poland. Nancy passed to the French crown in 1766. In 1848 it was one of the first cities to proclaim the republic. From 1870 to 1873 it was occupied by the Germans following the Franco-Prussian War, and it was partially destroyed in World War I. Points of interest include the Place Stanislas, the Place de la Carrière, an 18th-century cathedral, and the 16th-century ducal palace. The Church of Cordeliers (15th cent.) houses the magnificent tombs of the princes of Lorraine.
Chodorow, Nancy, 1944-, American psychologist. A professor at the Univ. of California at Berkeley, Chodorow has extensively pursued the question of why women desire motherhood. Using Freudian psychoanalytic theory, she has argued that young girls remain mother-identified even after the Oedipus complex symbolically separates the male child from his mother. Chodorow believes that the acceptance of the domestic ideal is the foundation of women's oppression. Her theories have been widely influential in contemporary feminist writing. Her works include The Reproduction of Mothering: Psychoanalysis and the Psychology of Gender (1978).
Mitford, Nancy, 1904-73, English novelist and biographer, b. London. She managed a London bookshop during World War II and moved to Paris in 1945. Mitford and her six celebrated sisters were born into the British aristocracy, a class she satirizes in her novels, notably In Pursuit of Love (1945) and Love in a Cold Climate (1949). Her writing is sophisticated, malicious, and captivating. Indeed, her boring, bigoted, illiterate lords and amoral, irresponsible ladies have taken on the qualities of myth. She also wrote biographies of Madame de Pompadour (1954) and Frederick the Great (1970).

See her letters (1993); C. Mosley, ed., The Mitfords: Letters between Six Sisters (2007) and correspondence with E. Waugh (1997); memoir by H. Acton (1976); biography by S. Hastings (1986).

Mitford's sister Jessica Mitford, 1917-96, b. Gloucestershire, England, also a writer, is known for her witty and irreverent polemics. Her works include The American Way of Death (1963; rev. ed. 1998), a scathing exposé of American funeral homes; Kind and Usual Punishment (1973), a critical study of the brutality of American prisons; and The American Way of Birth (1992), an indictment of the overuse of cesarean sections.

See her autobiography (1960, repr. 1981, 2004) and her memoirs of her early days as a Communist (1977); P. Y. Sussman, ed., Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford (2006); see also J. Guinness, House of Mitford (1984), and M. S. Lovell, The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family (2002).

(born Nov. 28, 1904, London, Eng.—died June 30, 1973, Versailles, France) British writer. Born into an eccentric, aristocratic family, she became known for her witty satiric novels of upper-class life, including the quasi-autobiographical The Pursuit of Love (1945), Love in a Cold Climate (1949), The Blessing (1951), and Don't Tell Alfred (1960). A volume of essays she coedited, Noblesse Oblige (1956), popularized the distinction between linguistic usages that are “U” (upper-class) and “non-U.” Her sister Jessica (1917–96) was a noted writer on U.S. society whose best-known book was The American Way of Death (1963).

Learn more about Mitford, Nancy with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Nov. 28, 1904, London, Eng.—died June 30, 1973, Versailles, France) British writer. Born into an eccentric, aristocratic family, she became known for her witty satiric novels of upper-class life, including the quasi-autobiographical The Pursuit of Love (1945), Love in a Cold Climate (1949), The Blessing (1951), and Don't Tell Alfred (1960). A volume of essays she coedited, Noblesse Oblige (1956), popularized the distinction between linguistic usages that are “U” (upper-class) and “non-U.” Her sister Jessica (1917–96) was a noted writer on U.S. society whose best-known book was The American Way of Death (1963).

Learn more about Mitford, Nancy with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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