Monday, January 18, 2010

"Drive them off with kicks"

David points me to this news of the translation of a 12th Century Anglo-Norman poem about the French.

Poet Andrew de Coutances, an Anglo-Norman cleric, describes the French as godless, arrogant and lazy dogs. Even more stingingly, he accuses French people of being cowardly, and calls them heretics and rapists.

Well, so far they’ve had 800 years to prove us wrong...

8 comments:

Peter Burnet said...

I wonder whether some minor medieval cleric named Andrew von Hamburger did a similar take on the Germans.

Brit said...

Aha! That it was written by someone called "de Coutances" is irrefutable proof of one of the fundamental assumptions underpinning this blog: that Englishness is a state of mind, not a genetic inheritance.

Peter Burnet said...

"State of mind", of course, being a euphemism for "mongrel race".

I wonder whether some froggie named Edourd de Johnson penned a piece on how the English were hopeless in bed and prone to group piss-ups outside the guildhall at 3:00am?

Brit said...

'Euphemism' isn't the word, but basically yes.

Being French, by contrast, is a genetic inheritance.

Willard said...

I've come to the conclusion that I must be part French.

Mark said...

Of course it's not true ... but let's make the bastard deny it! Etc.

Hmmn, sounds as if the English were dazzled by celebrity even then. Dazzled and seething with envy. I doubt our tastes in fain daining have changed all that much. Then it might have been a mouldy dog's leg washed down with handful of rough, lumpy cider; today it's a tin of Tennents Supa and a box of KFC on a park bench. Give me a decent convivial meal in France in any century, thanks. Bedazzled, befuddled and be damned are in our genes.

Brit said...

Don't forget self-laceration, Mark.

malty said...

Being arrogant lazy dogs are amongst their better achievements. They designed the Citroen Picasso for goodness sake.
And gave shelter to that well known Anglophile Chas de Gaulle and his wellcoming word..non!

Andys utterances came well before the first wave of English tourists descended upon the Dordogne, the ones with arrows.

Mongrels Peter, us?, moi?. I utterly refute that, in Irish, Norwegian, Danish and French.