19 MARCH 1965, Page 16

Tres Snob

SIR,-1 must raise one objection to Strix's as ever enchanting article in the Spectator of March 5. He writes that French spoken with an English accent lacks for the French ear that certain charm, which English spoken with a French accent has for the English.

During a recent stay of six months in Lyons I found that the contrary was the case. My English accent proved a great asset. English words, sounds and intonations are considered tres snob among the upper-class French, many of whom send their daughters to convents in England. Petula Clark, the singer, has a similar popularity in France to that enjoyed by the late Yvonne Arnaud over here; and she is said to make great play with son petit accent. On one occasion, one only, dressed in a dinner jacket, I had the honour to be taken for a Frenchman—but for a Frenchman who was speaking in a quite extraordinarily precious manner.


Beech Tree House, Mobberley. Cheshire