1000 Years of Annoying the French

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1000 Years of Annoying the French

1000 Years of Annoying the French

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And the most interesting thing for me was that while researching this book, I found that our versions of the same events are like two completely different stories – the French see history through tricolour-tinted glasses and blame the Brits (and after about 1800, the Americans) for pretty well every misfortune that has ever befallen France. Sometimes they’re right – we have done some nasty things to the French in the past – but often they’re hilariously wrong, and I have tried to set the record straight.

And having written this book, I finally understand where the never-ending tensions come from. The fact is that our history isn’t history at all. It’s here and now. It’s not tactless or provocative – relations couldn’t be better between the British Embassy and their French hosts – it’s simply there. Just as the battle between the sexes will never end (we hope), neither will the millennium-old rivalry between the French and anyone who happens to be born speaking English. Things have been just a little awkward between Britain and France ever since the Norman invasion in 1066. Fortunately—after years of humorously chronicling the vast cultural gap between the two countries—author Stephen Clarke is perfectly positioned to investigate the historical origins of their occasionally hostile and perpetually entertaining pas de deux. A 'deliciously' entertaining read from start to finish - probably the most entertaining history book I've ever read (and I do enjoy a bit of history). Having read Stephen Clarke's 'A Year In The Merde' before this, my experience of reading this one was a quite welcome and pleasant subversion of my expectations - and I do have a penchant for the latter as well.I love this book! This is how history should be passed on - the book is full of fascinating historical facts all built round the "special" relationship we have with our neighbours across the channel. It documents the often fractious history between France and England, throwing up a lot of information about the ripple effect this relationship has had on world events. The section on early American history is particularly fascinating. The narrative flows well and is littered with jokes such as those mentioned above. But this is not history dumbed down, it is as informative as any core text book. Who knew that modern champagne was invented in England, that Dom Perignon tried to remove the fizziness from the French stuff because the bottles kept exploding whereas the English went crazy for it and the fizzier the better?

Coming after the scuttling of the French fleet at Toulon by the Vichy Régime, it was the last blow to a fleet that, whatever the Brits might think of it, was in 1939 the fourth in the world after Britain, the United States and Japan; also, as the Naval Encyclopedia admits, it "had been saved from the budgetary misconceptions of aviation or the erroneous tactics of the Army"! A bonus is that the humor is on point most of the times which by itself this saves the book in many cases.This is a great introduction to anybody wanting to understand the peculiar relationship between two countries separated by a 30 mile stretch of water and 1000 years of colourful history. To write this, I followed my nose through whole libraries (both online and off), hunting through 1000 years of history to produce a chunky tome that tries to set the record straight about the long tragi-comedy of relations between the French and all us English-speakers.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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