How the English Invented Champagne (and Other Facts Guaranteed to Infuriate the French); HISTORY

Daily Mail (London), March 12, 2010 | Go to article overview

How the English Invented Champagne (and Other Facts Guaranteed to Infuriate the French); HISTORY


Byline: BY MICHAEL SIMKINS

1,000 YEARS OF ANNOYING THE FRENCH BY STEPHEN CLARKE (Bantam [pounds sterling]16.99)

THE poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge famously wrote 'Frenchman are like gunpowder: each by itself smutty and contemptible, but mass them together, and they are terrible indeed.'

And whether it's William the Conqueror squaring up to King Harold, or Maggie Thatcher hand-bagging Jacques Delors, the French and the English, it seems, have always been the best of enemies. So for anyone requiring a good dose of Froggie bashing, Stephen Clarke's new book should put a spring in your step.

1,000 Years Of Annoying The French chronicles the various ways in which the Brits (and virtually every other nation) have been waging a campaign to infuriate our nearest neighbours. And if this account is to be believed, very successfully we've done it too.

The French have always considered themselves to be nature's aristocrats, whilst their failures (such as Crecy, Agincourt, and their candidature for the 2012 Olympics) have been swept under the carpet by a race who 'still consider Napoleon's retreat from Moscow to be a strategic withdrawal, and the Nazi occupation of France as merely a waiting period until De Gaulle was ready to come back and seize victory.'

But in chronicling a millennium spent glowering at one another from across the Channel, Clarke also makes a spirited argument for English ownership of virtually every great French tradition.

Take Champagne, for instance. Far from being a French invention, bubbly only became possible once British bottle-making techniques provided a product that could withstand all that extra fizz without the contents exploding all over your dinner table. And with the onset of global warming, the best vintages will soon be grown on the Hackney Marshes, anyway.

Even the guillotine, ultimate symbol of liberty, equality and fraternity, can claim to be an English invention. An earlier version of this device for achieving rapid weight-loss was allegedly being used in a small market town in Yorkshire some years before the eponymous Parisian professor came up with his own design.

As Clarke gleefully observes, it would have been even more fun to contemplate the French nobility having their heads collectively chopped off by something called 'Le Halifax'. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

How the English Invented Champagne (and Other Facts Guaranteed to Infuriate the French); HISTORY
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.