Friend or Foe: an Anglo-Saxon History of France

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9780753819258: Friend or Foe: an Anglo-Saxon History of France

A century after the Entente Cordiale ended centuries of war and enmity between France and Britain, and two hundred years after the coronation of Britain's deadly enemy, Napoleon Bonaparte, as Emperor, Alistair Horne contemplates two thousand years of France. The Entente Cordiale meant different things to the signatories. For France it meant, quite simply, the certainty at last of an ally who would counter-balance the dread power of Kaiser Wilhelm II's vast and menacing Reich on her doorstep. For Britain the Entente signified an end to centuries of conflict with France, but it also meant inevitable involvement in a major European war. The modern rift over the Iraq war has emphasized once again that a slim channel of water may be all that separates the countries physically, but in temperament, in attitudes, in life generally -- and, particularly, in history itself -- the differences remain fundamental, and intense.

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About the Author:

Educated Le Rosey, Switzerland and Jesus College, Cambridge. WWII included attachment in MI5. Foreign correspondent, Daily Telegraph 1952-5. Founded the Alistair Horne research fellowship in modern history, St Antony's, Oxford 1969. Prizes include Hawthornden (for The Price of Glory) and Wolfson (for A Savage War of Peace). He was knighted in 2003 (Queen's birthday honours) for services to Franco-British relations.

Review:

"What's even more impressive is that despite the weight of the subject matter, Horne combines an almost sprightly caper through our Gallic neighbours' history with a serious, informative narrative that covers the milestones in depth... A useful primer, then, for anyone interested in French history." OBSERVER "This complete history of France takes us from its humble beginnings as a Roman outpost called Lutetia right up to the rift with Britain and America over Iraq in 2003." GUARDIAN

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Horne, Alistair
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