Bashing The French Day

It’s the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. If you’re into that kind of thing.

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10 Responses to Bashing The French Day

  1. Chris Williams says:

    What is it with this obsession with the French to the exclusion of the Spanish? According to NAM Rodger’s rather fine book ‘Command of the Ocean’, it was the Spanish who, over the C18th, were the really hardcore long-term threat: the French were just flashes in the pan.

    I feel a radio programme outline coming on…

  2. Chris Williams says:

    And another thing . . Note how this guide from teh grauniad implies that Trafalgar saved theUK from invasion:,5860,1504015,00.html
    Not true – Napoleon had begun his march to Austria before it was fought.


  3. Still, Trafalger is what great novels are made on …

    Please don’t let Mel Gibson make a movie about it!

    Of course, if they want to bring back Sean Bean for Sharpe’s Trafalger …

  4. Chris Williams says:

    I’ve heard that Gibson’s Trafalgar is already in production: it shows with amazing accuracy how the American fleet fought under the command of Thomas Jefferson for the freedom of the negroes of Haiti, and, helped by their Scottish, Irish and French allies, beat the combined fleet of Spanish and English ships.

  5. Wouldn’t that be Harry Harrison’s Trafalgar?

  6. Sharon says:

    Chris, you’ve forgotten the bit where his wife and/or family are brutally murdered by treacherous Englishmen and he has to avenge their deaths.

    I say bring it on: then the folks at Popcorn and Chainmail could give it a good sporking. (Medievalists should know that they’ve just done Robin Hood Prince of Thieves…)

  7. Chris Williams says:

    Is Harrison quite that bad? I’d avoided all his wish-fulfilment stuff on the grounds that I want to remember him as a good writer.

    Harrison wrote a mean Hornblower pastiche once, back when he was living in a camper van and didn’t have to cover his mortgage.

  8. I had to tell a student he couldn’t use Harrison as a reliable source on the Vikings …

    Chris, you could make a poor medievalist fall in love! I think. I’d be laughing harder, except that it’s plausible … especially because the French are godless anti-Catholics and all, despite that deal they cut with the pope. OH. I wonder if Mel and the current Bishop of Rome have mended Mels anti-JP fences …

    Going to go read the sporking now. I was so hoping he’d be excommunicated and anathemetized …

  9. Harrison’s Stars and Stripes series are very nearly that bad – wish-fulfillment plotline, comic-opera-villain Brits and god-awful writing. He’s declined, sad to say.

  10. Chris Williams says:

    But if Harrison stand the shame and ignominy of writing that trash, I can’t begrudge him the royalties as long as I don’t have to read it. We’ve all got to eat.

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