Don’t Tell Alfred
  • Pages: 240
  • ISBN: 9780241974704
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Introduction: Sophie Dahl

Don’t Tell Alfred

Nancy Mitford
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Description

Fanny is married to absent-minded Oxford don Alfred and content with her role as a plain, tweedy housewife. Then her life changes when Alfred is appointed English Ambassador to Paris. Fanny is suddenly mixing with royalty, Rothschilds and Dior-clad wives, throwing cocktail parties and having every indiscreet remark printed in the papers. This leaves her far too busy to worry about the diplomatic crisis looming on the horizon. Don’t Tell Alfred continues the histories of the characters Nancy Mitford introduced in The Pursuit of Love.

Reviewed by Laura Freeman in Slightly Foxed Issue 61.

The Paris Effect

LAURA FREEMAN

Brimming. That was how I spent my first weeks in Paris. Brimming with tears at the smallest setback. For Nancy Mitford’s Northey in Don’t Tell Alfred, dispatched to Paris to be secretary to Fanny Wincham, the new Madame l’Ambassadrice at the British Embassy, it is the ‘cruel food’ of France that sets her off. Beef consommé. Brimming. Lobster. Brimming. Foie gras. Brimming. ‘A Frenchman on board told me what they do to sweet geese for pâté de foie gras,’ says Northey at dinner on her first night at the Ambassador’s Residence. ‘Very wrong and stupid of him,’ says Fanny . . .

Extract from Slightly Foxed Issue 61, Spring 2019



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The Paris Effect

Brimming. That was how I spent my first weeks in Paris. Brimming with tears at the smallest setback. For Nancy Mitford’s Northey in Don’t Tell Alfred, dispatched to Paris to be secretary to Fanny...

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