Cover image for They eat horses, don't they? : the truth about the French
They eat horses, don't they? : the truth about the French
Eatwell, Piu Marie, author.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin's Press, 2014.
Physical Description:
342 pages : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm
"Eatwell reveals the truth behind forty-five myths about the French, from the infamous horsemeat banquets of the nineteenth century that inspired an irrepressible rumor, to breaking down our long-held beliefs about French history and society (the French are a nation of cheese-eating surrender monkeys, right?)"--Dust jacket flap.
The king of cuisines and the cuisine of kings: myths about French food and drink -- Trop belle pour toi: myths about French women -- Dangerous liaisons: myths about French sex, marriage and children -- Merde alors!: myths about French plumbing -- Bof! Je m'en fous!: myths about French manners -- Libert?, egalit?, fraternit?: myths about French history and society -- A land of cultural exceptions: myths about French culture -- City of light: myths about Paris -- La France profonde: myths about the French on holiday -- The best of enemies: myths about the entente cordiale.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DC33 .E38 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
DC33 .E38 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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They Eat Horses, Don't They?:The Truth About the French tells you what life in France is really like. Do the French eat horses? Do French women bare all on the beach? What is a bidet really used for?

In this hilarious and informative book, Piu Marie Eatwell reveals the truth behind forty-five myths about the French, from the infamous horsemeat banquets of the nineteenth century that inspired an irrepressible rumor, to breaking down our long-held beliefs about French history and society (the French are a nation of cheese-eating surrender monkeys, right?).

Eatwell lived in France for many years and made the most of long French weekends, extended holidays, and paid time off to sit on French beaches, evaluate the sexual allure of the French men and women around her, and, of course, scan caf#65533; menus for horses and frogs. As a result, They Eat Horses, Don't They? reveals a fascinating picture of historical and contemporary France--a country that has both changed radically in the twenty-first century, but yet still retains much of the mystery, romance, and allure that has seduced foreigners for decades. Truth, as always, is stranger than fiction. . . .

Author Notes

Piu Marie Eatwell went to France for a long weekend one August summer holiday many years ago. She never left. After graduating from Oxford University with a First Class degree in English language and literature, she trained first as a BBC television producer and then as a lawyer. Over the years she has worked in various positions as a documentary film maker, barrister, teacher, mother, and--most recently--full-time writer, both in London and Paris. They Eat Horses, Don't They? is her first book.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

British-born francophile and France-resident Eatwell conducts a lighthearted journey through her adopted country by setting the record straight on commonly held stereotypes about the French. Divvying her subject up into 10 categories ranging from food and drink to the shifty relations between the United Kingdom and France, Eatwell includes a series of myths for each section that she explores with historical and contemporary anecdotes backed by secondary sources, but her conclusions seem somewhat subjective, and she concedes, "opinions and conclusions in this book are entirely my own." It is true that the French kiss upon greeting, tend to forgive political adulterers, have not quit smoking, and dislike pooper scoopers, yet it is surprising to find resistance among Parisians to the once ubiquitous bidet. While the point of view is decidedly British, the combination of history, trivia, and firsthand observations offers insights into the cultures on both ends of the Chunnel. Agent: Andrew Lownie, Andrew Lownie Literary Agency (U.K.) (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Join former lawyer/filmmaker Eatwell as she debunks myths about the French in this fun, informative guide. Each chapter presents a myth followed by a thorough, well-researched explanation and ends with a "myth evaluation" of true, false, or somewhere in between. Beginning with food, the author explores the titular tradition about the French predilection for horses, frogs, and snails and concludes that it's "arguably true." Along with fictions about France's cuisine, the book investigates the truth behind about all things French from French sex and marriage to the French on holiday and the country's history and culture. Eatwell, herself a British import to France, concludes with a section on "the best of enemies" by looking at tales concerning the two countries. For example, the accepted wisdom about the British as expert gardeners is determined to be false as she judiciously notes that "the French and English have been champions of gardening at different periods of history." The volume contains delightful illustrations and photographs. VERDICT Eatwell's myth busting has broad appeal and will draw in readers, from Francophiles to history and culture buffs alike.-Lacy S. Wolfe, Ouachita Baptist Univ. Lib., Arkadelphia, AR (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prologuep. 9
Apéritifp. 11
The archetypal Frenchman wears a beret and striped shirt and rides a bicycle festooned with onions
1 The King of Cuisines and the Cuisine of Kings Myths About French Food and Drinkp. 17
French cuisine is the best in the worldp. 18
They eat horses, don't they?p. 26
...and frogs' legs... and snailsp. 35
The French are the world's no. 1 consumers of cheesep. 41
The French consume a very great deal of garlicp. 48
The French don't eat fast foodp. 53
The French drink wine with every mealp. 59
The French don't get drunkp. 66
2 Trop Belle Pour Toi Myths About French Womenp. 73
French women are the most stylish in the worldp. 74
French women don't get fatp. 81
French women are kitchen goddessesp. 87
French women don't shavep. 95
3 Dangerous Liaisons Myths About French Sex, Marriage and Childrenp. 101
The French are obsessed with sexp. 102
The French are uniquely tolerant of adulteryp. 110
The French habitually have large familiesp. 120
French children don't throw foodp. 126
4 Merede Alors Myths About French Plumbingp. 133
French toilets are repellentp. 134
The French don't washp. 141
Every French bathroom has a bidetp. 149
5 Bof! Je M'en Fous! Myths about French Mannersp. 154
The French are uncommonly rudep. 155
French people always kiss when they greet youp. 163
The French are a nation of inveterate smokersp. 168
The French are cruel to animalsp. 173
6 Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité Myths About French History And Societyp. 180
The French are a nation of Revolutionariesp. 181
France is an egalitarian societyp. 189
The French don't work very hardp. 197
The French are a nation of cheese-eating surrender monkeysp. 202
7 A Land of Cultural Exceptions Myths About French Culturep. 211
The French are paranoid about their languagep. 212
French pop music is irredeemably naffp. 221
French films are uniformly pretentiousp. 229
8 City of Light Myths About Parisp. 239
The Left Bank is a haven of writers and intellectualsp. 240
The Paris Métro stinksp. 247
Paris is the European capital of canine excretap. 252
9 La France Profonde, Myths About the French on Holidayp. 259
France shuts down for Augustp. 260
French beaches are pollutedp. 269
French beaches are packed with topless womenp. 275
French villages are so quaintp. 281
French country style is so chicp. 289
10 The Best of Enemies Myths About the Entente Cordialep. 295
The French think British food is revoltingp. 296
The English have taken over the French countryside... and the French have taken over English citiesp. 303
The British are the champions of gardeningp. 310
Digestifp. 318
Acknowledgementsp. 323
Notesp. 325
Bibliographyp. 337
Picture Captions and Acknowledgementsp. 341