Michael Sadler's An Englishman in Paris
is the perfect guide for the man or woman from these shores who wants to be au fait
with day-to-day life in Paris. Whatever the historical enmity between our two countries (from the Battle of Waterloo onwards), there's really a marked rapprochement
between the French and the English (note that the best word for our accord is a French one!); many French citizens are devoted Anglophiles (whatever they think of our food), and it's a dull Englishman whose heart doesn't beat faster pacing the boulevards of the City of Light. Of course, it's not just the language that trips up the unwary Brit in France--the customs, the everyday transactions and so on are potential minefields.
Knowing that however keen you might be to excel in such matters it's easy to get it wrong abroad. South coast-born, (but temperamentally Parisian manqué), Sadler decided to spend a year in the city of Renoir and Debussy to steep himself in continental manners. Braving the terrifying French traffic, finding out what wine to buy at the Bon Marché, tackling a diner bourgeois, negotiating affairs of the heart, coming to terms with tripe, and a million other challenges peculiar to the French capital--all these became grist to Sadler's mill, and if he didn't crack all of them, we are the beneficiaries of his wise and witty advice on how not to make too much of an ass of yourself. Sadler points out that the best approach is a commixing of British cool and French gusto. As he risked his cholesterol levels with mouth-watering French cuisine and learnt how not to give offence (or how to give it, if necessary) and as he discovers how to belong in a city that is distrustful of incomers, the process is fascinating. And as An Englishman in Paris proves, Sadler certainly did his damndest to be a boulevadier. His book is a canny, knowing and enthusiastic look at our neighbours at the other end of the Chunnel, and even makes some cogent observations about the nature of foreignness--theirs and ours. If you're packing your bag for that Eurostar trip, you'd be well advised to put this in. --Barry Forshaw
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Michael Sadler is a writer and academic. Born in Lewes, he now lives in Paris, where he teaches an MA course in Contemporary French Studies at the British Institute. He is married with one daughter and grows his own leeks.