Sunday, January 17, 2010

French-bashing from the 12th Century

The Telegraph has an entertaining article up about a recently translated poem by Andrew de Coutances, an "Anglo-Norman cleric," writing between 1180 and 1194.  He describes the French as, among other things,
godless, arrogant and lazy dogs... cowardly...heretics and rapists
He also disparages their eating habits, greed and gluttony. Here's one noteworthy stanza from the translation,
The English went on the attack, 

And the French defended like cowards, 

They gave up at the first onset 

And shamefully ran away.
The next time you see someone refer to the French as "cheese-eating surrender monkeys," or use some other insult to the national character of France, just remember that it's part of a long tradition going back over 800 years.

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