French history

France will always have a love-hate relationship with its heroes

23 May 2020 9:00 am

The French have a love-hate relationship with heroes. For the great 19th-century historian Jules Michelet, the French Revolution was supposed…

The glory and the misery of Louis XIV’s France

6 July 2019 9:00 am

I was flicking through an old copy of The Spectator the other day, one of the issues containing contributors’ ‘Christmas…

Greatness thrust upon him: General de Gaulle in 1940

It took a long time for de Gaulle to become ‘de Gaulle’

16 June 2018 9:00 am

When General de Gaulle published the first volume of his war memoirs in 1954, he signed only four presentation copies:…

Juliette Gréco and Miles Davis at the Salle Pleyel, Paris, c. 1949

Paris at its most liberated: the turbulent 1940s

24 March 2018 9:00 am

We all have our favourite period of Parisian history, be it the Revolution, the Belle Époque or the swinging 1960s…

Is France now the sick man of Europe? It is if it’s taking Eric Zemmour seriously

22 November 2014 9:00 am

Graham Robb on the book currently taking France by storm

What took Francis Mitterrand to the top?

14 December 2013 9:00 am

Of a dashing political rival, François Mitterrand once remarked: He was more intelligent than I was, he thought faster than…