Love in a Cold Climate: Who's Who

Linda Radlett Linda Radlett
Elisabeth Dermot Walsh

The vivacious and passionate Linda is a composite of Nancy Mitford and her sister Jessica. Linda's quirks, passions, and temperament reflect Mitford's own, while her communist period closely follows Jessica's.

"Whenever I had any questions about Linda's motivation, whenever I slightly lost my way," said actress Elisabeth Dermot Walsh, "I simply thought about the title of one of the two novels on which this is based, The Pursuit of Love. And that's what it is. Linda's whole reason for living is the pursuit of love."

The daughter of actor Dermot Walsh and actress Elisabeth Scott, Dermot Walsh grew up with acting quite literally in her blood. "I think I'm the fifth generation to act in our family, and I didn't find that out until quite recently. I think they kept it from me!"

For a young actress relatively fresh from drama school -- Dermot Walsh left the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts just three years ago -- playing Linda was a big challenge. "I've spoken to a lot of friends who just say, 'Oh God, Linda is my absolute dream role, my favorite heroine.' So I know I've got a lot to live up to."

Dermot Walsh has also appeared on television in Unfinished Business, the BBC's acclaimed Falling for a Dancer, and as Octavia in Cleopatra. On stage, she has played Cathy in Wuthering Heights and Hilda in Easy Virtue.

In Mitford's words: Linda Radlett

... I adored all my cousins, and Linda distilled, mentally and physically, the very essence of the Radlett family. Her straight features, straight brown hair and large blue eyes were a theme upon which the faces of the others were a variation; all pretty but none so absolutely distinctive as hers. There was something furious about her, even when she laughed, which she did a great deal, and always as if forced to against her will."

The Pursuit of Love, Part I, Chapter 1