Fanny, who is married to the bumbling, absent-minded Oxford don Alfred, is content with her role as a plain, tweedy housewife. But her life changes overnight when Alfred is appointed English Ambassador to Paris. Suddenly she is mixing with royalty, Rothschilds and Dior-clad wives, giving cocktail parties and having her every move and outfit printed in the papers the next day. And, as well as her new found fame, she also has to deal with organising her friends' love lives and keeping track of her maverick sons. And with a diplomatic crisis on the horizon, Embassy life in Parisian high society is certainly never dull.
©1960 Nancy Mitford (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I have always loved Nancy Mitford's novels in the Love in a Cold Climate series and looked forward to being entertained by Don't Tell Alfred on my daily commute. Emilia Fox has a pleasant voice and does well by Fanny but is entirely unable to produce credible French accents or to speak the occasional lines of French which appear in the text. Not only this but she makes Grace de Valhubert (an Englishwoman married to a Frenchman but affecting to speak English with a French accent) sound like a Russian with a sore throat! All this is surprising from a generally talented actress. I am looking forward to hearing The Blessing but would not be purchasing it if it was narrated by Ms Fox! Book: 5 stars; narration: 3 stars
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This witty little novel is totally destroyed by the 'French' pronunciation of the reader which bears little relation to the French language. Furthermore, the entire reading is expressionless with very little differentiation between individual characters. I struggled to hear it to the end.
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