The centuries-old, love-hate relationship with our closest neighbour has spawned a plethora of myths and stereotypes. In recent years our stock of received wisdom about the French – land of the sophisticated lover, the wine-fuelled lunch, the gitane-puffing philosopher, the hairy female armpit and the rebarbatively squalid toilet – has been replenished by a new generation of lifestyle myths: that French women don't get fat, that French children don't throw food, that their countryside has been colonized by Boden-clad, Volvo-driving Brits.
In THEY EAT HORSES, DON'T THEY?, Piu Das Eatwell explores the background to, and the contemporary evidence for, 45 such myths. She finds that many of them are simply false, and that even those that are broadly true are rather more complicated than at first sight. In the course of her thorough – and thoroughly entertaining – investigations, we discover there is more to our enigmatic Gallic neighbour than 365 types of cheese, and that the reality of modern French life is very different from the myths that we create about it.