Ngaio Marsh on Stoic French Ladies

She was fifty and tall for a Frenchwoman. Her figure was impressive, her hair rigidly groomed, her dress admirable. She had the air of being encased in a transparent, closely-fitting film that covered her head as well as her clothes and permitted no disturbance of her surface. Her voice had edge. She used the faultless diction and balanced phraseology of the foreigner who has perfect command but no love of the English language.

— Ngaio Marsh, Swing, Brother, Swing

The “She” in question is an upperclass Frenchwoman of perfect breeding, married to a rather eccentric and unconventional British peer.

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