From the list on why the French deny their own history.
Who am I?
I have lived almost all my adult life in France, and have spent that whole time wondering what makes the French so French. One of the answers is their attitude to their own history. The French have got a lot of upheaval to process: at least five revolutions since 1789, and two World Wars fought on their soil, including a Nazi occupation that they still haven’t digested. I didn’t start writing about the French until I’d been living in France for about 10 years – I didn’t want to write like a tourist, and it took me that long to unweave the first strands of their DNA. I’ve never stopped writing about them since, half a dozen Merde novels and as many non-fiction books later.
Stephen's book list on why the French deny their own history
Discover why each book is one of Stephen's favorite books.
Why did Stephen love this book?
For me, the Bayeux Tapestry is one of the most glorious works in the whole of Western art. Seventy metres of embroidery (not actual tapestry) describing the conquest of Britain by William and co. Every time I go to see it, it takes my breath away. But as I began to read around the subject for the opening chapter of my book 1000 Years of Annoying the French, I started to doubt the “official” version of the story told by the museum’s audio guide, which is basically a justification of the Norman duke’s claim to the throne of England. Andrew Bridgeford’s book examines both the story being told in the main narrative of the tapestry, as well as the hidden undercurrent of anti-William propaganda there. It turns out that, contrary to French legend, this was not just a visual record of the Conquest commissioned by William and executed by his…
Why should I read it?
1 author picked 1066 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.
What is this book about?
A brilliant new reading of the Bayeux Tapestry that radically alters our understanding of the events of 1066 and reveals the astonishing story of the survival of early medieval Europe's greatest treasure.
The Bayeux Tapestry was embroidered (it's not really a tapestry) in the late eleventh century. As an artefact, it is priceless, incomparable - nothing of it's delicacy and texture, let alone wit, survives from the period. As a pictorial story it is delightful: the first feature-length cartoon. As history it is essential: it represents the moment of Britain's last conquest by a foreign army and celebrates the Norman…