Don't Tell Alfred
In this delightful comedy, Fanny—the quietly observant narrator of Nancy Mitford’s two most famous novels—finally takes center stage.
Fanny Wincham—last seen as a young woman in The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate—has lived contentedly for years as housewife to an absent-minded Oxford don, Alfred. But her life changes overnight when her beloved Alfred is appointed English Ambasstage.Fanny ...more
thingie about U & Non-U words: Pardon? (Non) What? (U)
that reveal class? Nancy started it all. This drollery
about diplomacy, inspired by her living in Paris, spoons
up like a creamy dessert as the UK ambassador's wife disses
the bores & le beau monde.
Published in 1960, it tweaks the styles and politics of the day. 'What can't be cured must be endured,' says the heroine as she contemplates life after 50 and then find ...more
It is here we meet a whole host of characters, some likable and some not. Fanny has to learn the role of Ambassadress and familiarize herself with all the new faces. Poor Fanny's ...more
Mitford sincerely loved the people she depicted in the first two novels. She loved the bright young things, she loved the inter-war generation, she loved the landed gentry. So her hilarious exposure of their ridiculous behaviour was always tempered by a fondness for them. You laugh and you cry.
But she has no ...more
It's not Mitford's best novel, as I'm sure most readers would agree. It shows an older generation facing the cataclysmic changes of the sixties: rejection of traditional values, adulation of pop stars, spurious annexing of eastern philosophies, runaway children, the beginnings of the classless society. While I give credit to Mitford for attempting it, it makes for a much less happy mix than her previous novels. But just as sometimes we forgive people a lot because o ...more
My favourite terrible thing about Nancy is that she has no idea how straight, non-insane men act. She doesn't know any, or if she does, she just ignores him until she can find the nearest sister or gay man to talk to. If you’ve read her books you’ll know that the protagonist Fanny gets ma/>My ...more
I don’t doubt that Mitford’s contemporaries found this book entertaining, but I didn’t like it nearly as well as the first two books in this loos ...more
One note, This book should be read after Pursuit of Love, Love In A Cold Climate, and The Blessing, because Mitford expects you to know a lot of characters and their/their family's histories. I can imagine that there would be confusion if the reader hadn't read the previous books first.
Certainly it's the weakest novel of the series, and the humour doesn't pop as it does in Love in a Cold Climate, but I think it has value in its own right, pursuing a new direction from its two predecessors. In fact, just as The Pursuit of Love and LIACC are very different novels, DTA also has its own ...more
Also, the novel is set in the late 1950s, which I had experienced as a child, and so the society and some of the cultural references were more relevant to me than those in the 1920s-30s.
The book doesn't retain some of the charm of Mitford's other novels, mainly because it revolves around life in Paris. While her other novels details the habits and eccentricities of the upper classes in England, this novel focuses on Fanny's life in Paris as the wife of an ambassador.
Like all of Mitford's novels, she does an excellent job of con ...more
While not the strongest in the trilogy, I have to admit that I loved ...more
Has some very funny scenes that still make me laugh out loud everytime I read them.
She accepts a distant relative ...more