You are here1000 Years of Annoying the French By Stephen Clarke

1000 Years of Annoying the French By Stephen Clarke

Was the Battle of Hastings a French victory? Non! William the Conqueror was Norman and hated the French. Were the Brits really responsible for the death of Joan of Arc? Non! The French sentenced her to death for wearing trousers. Was the guillotine a French invention? Non! It was invented in Yorkshire. Ten centuries' worth of French historical 'facts' bite the dust as Stephen Clarke looks at what has really been going on since 1066...

1. Britain and France, and more recently North America, are the way they are today because of our constant fighting over the centuries. Our spheres of influence in the political world date back centuries. Many of Britain and France’s political institutions grew up in direct opposition to what l’ennemi was doing. France’s modern-day politicians, soldiers, and administrators almost all come out of schools set up by Napoleon, and have inherent mistrust, mingled with envy, of l’Anglo Saxon.
It is because of this that every minor political altercations gets blown out of proportion. The reaction is never just: ‘Oh why are they doing that?’ It’s always: ‘Bloody typical, those scheming so-and-sos, they did exactly the same thing back in 1415/1688/1789/1914/1940/2003’ etc., etc. However much we try to re-invent our relationship, it stays fundamentally the same. It’s in our genes.
This doesn’t mean that the French and the Anglos can’t get on with each other, of course. We share such a long common history that we are like family. We’re side by side or face to face in all history’s photo albums, and when things are going smoothly, we can laugh nostalgically at the way we used to fight all the time.


    006 skyscraper - Fly at a Smile-Price