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Exhilarating and rich narrative non-fiction that brings to light a dramatic and pivotal moment in our social, political and cultural history for the first time

About the Author

Juliet Nicolson is the author of two works of history, The Great Silence- 1918-1920 Living in the Shadow of the Great War and The Perfect Summer- Dancing into Shadow in 1911; and a family memoir, A House Full of Daughters. She lives with her husband in East Sussex, not far from Sissinghurst, where she spent her childhood.


An engagingly written mixture of social history and memoir . . . Nicolson invites us to see the worst winter of the century as a catalyst for social change in a nation that had entered the final months of 1962 in the grip of Edwardian deference and morality, yet emerged the following spring riding the first floods of the Swinging Sixties -- Trevor Phillips * Sunday Times *
Fascinating, quirky and evocative . . . Nicolson takes us right back to that muffled, snowbound world . . . The fact we happen to be living through another, different kind of paralysis adds an extra layer of fascination to this book -- Ysenda Maxtone Graham * Daily Mail *
An entertaining panorama of life in Britain during the original "beast from the east" . . . [Nicolson's] striking hypothesis . . . explores the impending social revolution from many angles . . . out of catastrophe can come change for good: a social revolution in 1963; perhaps an environmental awakening in 2021 -- Richard Morrison * The Times BOOK OF THE WEEK *
Juliet Nicolson's new book is a treasure trove... beautifully written. Nicolson uses the imagery of freeze and thaw as a metaphor for the new Britain that was being born, a conceit as elegant in its execution in its conception -- Alwyn Turner * BBC History Magazine *
Juliet Nicolson's timely study of that pivotal winter in British history has so many parallels with today that it occasionally sends a shiver down your spine . . . Her own memories of the turbulent months before and after that day are the thread that hold this beautifully stitched patchwork of stories together . . . convincing, poetic and often very touching -- Marcus Field * Evening Standard *
In this lively chronicle Juliet Nicolson, who was eight years old at the time, argues that the winter of 1962-63 marked a turning point in society, with Britain's social conventions beginning to burst apart at the seams. With cameos from Joanna Lumley and Harold Evans, and a nod to imminent Beatlemania, Nicolson buoyantly contends that out of devastation good can come * New Statesman *
Nicolson aims to do much more than present a charming word picture of the freakish winter of 1962-63 . . . where Frostquake triumphs is as a metaphor -- a network of images that describes how Britain was beginning to unfreeze from the 50s -- Kathryn Hughes * Guardian *
She imaginatively uses that ten-week freeze to highlight many of Britain's then moribund laws and attitudes and their imminent collapse . . . Nicolson's writing is energetic and absorbing. By accumulating tiny details she brings a multitude of scenes to life. I thought I knew enough about Sylvia Plath, but the description of her lonely last days with two infant children, in freezing weather in her rental near London Zoo, is heartrending -- Elisa Segrave * Spectator *
Cutting deftly from ordinary lives to extraordinary ones, the author vividly evokes a time of almost molten change and innovation -- Ariane Bankes * Tablet *
Juliet Nicolson has done something incredibly clever in her book Frostquake. She has written living history. It is stunning -- Joanna Lumley
A brilliant concept transformed into a brilliant and revelatory book. Completely fascinating and engrossing -- William Boyd
A fascinating description of Britain in the cold, hard winter of 1962 and early 1963, when it started to snow on Boxing Day and didn't stop for 10 weeks -- Esther Freud * i *
As gripping as any thriller, Frostquake is the story of a national trauma that came out of nowhere and changed us forever. Brilliantly written and almost eerily relevant to our current troubles, I read it in one sitting -- Tony Parsons
Frostquake is wholly remarkable . . . a rare and engrossing read that brought that time straight back to my memory and consciousness -- Vanessa Redgrave
I was absolutely enthralled from first page to last. It's truly remarkable, so well written, and the scope of her research is extraordinary. I particularly admire the way she entwines her own family's experience with what was going on at the time - a very vivid, accurate and perceptive portrayal of the period at all social, political and cultural levels -- Selina Hastings
I loved this beautifully written account of one icy winter during the 1960s in which familiar stories of pop music and politics surprised me thanks to Juliet Nicolson's brilliant research. These events interwoven with Nicolson as an eight year old child and her relationship with her widowed grandfather and her younger brother highlighting how early experiences live on in us forever, make this a deeply moving and original book -- Julia Samuel, psychotherapist and bestselling author of Grief Works
The bitter winter of 1962-3 closed down life for Britain just as Covid is doing today. Juliet Nicolson was a child then and is a scintillating storyteller now. There is not an icicle, politician, scandal or song missing from this engrossing re-creation of times so recently passed. Enchanting and wise, it leaves this message for our future: they survived, and so shall we -- Carmen Callil
This is an absolutely mesmerising book. Where I knew of the events concerned I was fascinated by the vivid retelling, and when I didn't I was utterly gripped -- Antonia Fraser
Works fizzingly well on all its many different levels . . . the unity between the national crisis and the family story never falters. The sensuous delight Juliet Nicolson takes in the natural world makes the snow both villain and star of Frostquake -- Philip Norman
In 1962 East Sussex snowdrifts reached 23ft and in London milkmen made deliveries on skis. The experience shaped the Britain of the 1960s, argues Nicolson in this lively social history * The Times (Books to Look Out for in 2021) *

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