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Genghis Khan - Flat taxer and free trader....

The Telegraph has a rather good item about the Mongolia's admiration for its most famous son, Genghis Khan, which is well worth the read.

This rather put me in mind of the way in which national heroes can be villains elsewhere - we are and the rest of Europe are rather less keen on Napoleon than are the French, and if Bismarck still rates hero status in Germany I imagine he does not in Denmark, France and Austria. Similarly, Tamurlane gets rather mixed reviews in central Asia and Oliver Cromwell is none too popular on the other side of the Irish Sea.

Ranging out a bit further, national histories can vary enormously, and as per usual I will focus on our friends on the other side of the channel.... Friends studying A level French were much amused by the French claim that they had initiated the industrial revolution, this running rather counter to what we had been taught. De Gaulle vetoed British membership of what was still called the EEC by claiming that we had scuppered the last attempt at European unity (meaning the Napoleonic system) and he was not going to let us do it again. Finally, I have a 1940s French Atlas, in which there is the claim that the British Empire was assembled of bits we had stolen from them and the Spanish, therefore 'undermining our claim to a civilizing mission'.

Any further thoughts, anecdotes etc, particularly those involving British figures less than popular on the continent?

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Anonymous rigger mortice said... 9:34 am

Roger Helmer!!!!  



Blogger Croydonian said... 9:36 am

Very waggish Rig....  



Blogger Serf said... 1:07 pm

The Turks are not very keen on Churchill, though that is tempered by the fact that he lost the little battle with them. They positively loathe Lawrence of Arabia though.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 1:14 pm

All very true. Meanwhile, just what is it with Mel Gibson? I was also a little surprised that the Besson (?) Joan of Arc film didn't tank in these parts.  



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