1000 Years of Annoying the French

Written by: Stephen Clarke

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Think you know French history? Think again! In this witty and well-researched book, Stephen Clarke debunks ten centuries’ worth of myths and misinformation that have shaped the tumultuous relationship between Britain and France.

Did William the Conqueror’s Norman invasion in 1066 really count as a French victory over England? Absolutely not, argues Clarke – William hated the French! Were the British truly responsible for the tragic death of Joan of Arc? No again – it was the French who sentenced her for the crime of wearing trousers. And surely at least the guillotine was a French invention? Wrong – it came from Yorkshire.

From the Norman Conquest right up to the present day, when diplomatic visits devolve into a comedy of historical insults, “1000 Years of Annoying the French” reveals the real story behind the age-old rivalries and fallings-out between the two nations. Along the way, Clarke gleefully dismantles cherished French claims, proving that they did not in fact invent the baguette, the croissant, or the guillotine, and that even the French Revolution was more myth than reality.

Meticulously researched yet delightfully tongue-in-cheek, this book demonstrates how the French have every right to suspect the British of a millennium-long campaign to get under their skin. A must-read for any Francophile, Anglophile, or lover of history, “1000 Years of Annoying the French” sheds entertaining new light on a colorful shared past – even if it won’t exactly help improve the Entente Cordiale! So sit back and prepare to have your assumptions challenged in this irresistible romp through ten vexing centuries of Anglo-French relations.


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