1,000 Years of Annoying the French

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McArthur, Sep 19, 2011 - France - 541 pages
13 Reviews
The English Channel may be only twenty miles wide, but it’s a thousand years deep. Stephen Clarke takes a penetrating look into those murky depths, guiding us through all the times when Britain and France have been at war - or at least glowering at each other across what the Brits provocatively call the English Channel. Along the way he explodes a few myths that French historians have been trying to pass off as ‘la vérité’, as he proves that the French did not invent the baguette, or the croissant, or even the guillotine, and would have taken the bubbles out of bubbly if the Brits hadn’t created a fashion for fizzy champagne. Starting with the Norman (not French) Conquest and going right up to the supposedly more peaceful present, when a state visit by French President Nicolas Sarkozy becomes a series of hilarious historical insults, it is a light-hearted - but impeccably researched - account of all our great fallings-out. In short, the French are quite right to suspect that the last thousand years have been one long British campaign to infuriate them. And it’s not over yet ...

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User Review  - vguy - LibraryThing

Mainly good fun, though the schoolboy jokes get a bit wearing. Teasing mockery of French pretensions and a bit of righting of myths: e.g. the guillotine was invented in England and champagne too ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - hhornblower - LibraryThing

A sort of 'Cliff Note' version of 1,000 years of English history, but funny. Not really a good primary source of English History, but if you know enough to get by, you'll certainly find this to be an amusing read. Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Stephen Clarke lives in Paris, where he divides his time between writing and not writing. His first novel, A Year in the Merde, was a runaway bestseller in 2004. He has published three more bestselling Merde novels since then.

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