Having gone through all of this the British dogged determination to stick our flag in someone else’s back yard didn’t wain. Henry VIII revitalised the dream of being King of France and got quite excited by the prospect of bagging a French wife, but only succeeded in almost bankrupting the country he did rule. Eventually in 1803 England gave up.

All this goes to prove, apart from that the Irish will forever be Irish regardless of anyone who dares to say otherwise, is that at any number of points in history the French could have become English and the English, French. It was perhaps only due to William the Conquerors lack of English that the good old Anglo-Saxon peasant persisted as a stubborn Anglo-Saxon and that most very English of things, the Class System was born. To this day, the vast majority of English still consider themselves working class, even though the definition has, in truth, been mostly lost and they cling as stubbornly to the notion of ‘us and them’ as much as any self respecting Medieval subdjugated English peasant. ‘Them’ of course encompassing any person of noble birth or person in a position of authority and, by extension and virtue of the Normans, the French.

Whether it’s a popular notion or not, the French and English will always have an affinity with each other and the very notion that there exists an English v France argument outside of a sports stadium just goes to prove the point.

 

 

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