They eat horses, don’t they?: The Truth about the French
Piu Eatwell

They eat horses, don’t they?: The Truth about the French

You don’t have to speak a word of French to know all about the French.  For example:

  • French women are the sexiest on the planet
  • French beaches are overflowing with topless females
  • French people eat horses, frogs, snails and pretty much everything they can shoot
  • The French take more leave than there are days in the week

True.  Or not?  An English writer who has lived in France for many years, Piu Eatwell made the most of all those long French weekends, extended holidays and paid time off to sit on French beaches, count naked breasts, and evaluate the sexual allure of the French men and women around her (whilst scanning the café menus for horses and frogs).  The results of her survey are not entirely what one would expect. 

Sexier (if not more sexist) than Stephen Clarke, this book is a humorous examination of myths about France.  Do the French eat horses?  Do French women bare all on the beach?  What is a bidet really used for? These and more are the many burning questions answered by this book, the essential weapon with which to arm yourself before risking any trip to our Gallic neighbour. 

To laugh is to know, and knowledge is power.  Take revenge for 1066.  Read…. chuckle….. come, see and conquer.                


Book Details:

  • Author: Piu Eatwell
  • Published Year: 2013
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: Head of Zeus
    • US: Thomas Dunne Books
    • China: Shenghuo-Dushu-Xinzhi
    • Lithuania: Sofoklis
    • Czech Republic: Argo
    • Complex Chinese: Gusa Publishing
Piu Eatwell

Piu Eatwell

Piu Eatwell is best known for her books of historical true crime. Piu was born in India of mixed British-Indian descent. She studied English at Oxford University, graduating ‘summa cum laude’ with a starred First Class degree, ranked 4th out of all students taking the final examination. As an undergraduate at Oxford, Piu won a scholarship and was awarded the Skeat-Whitfield Essay Prize for an essay on the work of the eighteenth century English writer, Laurence Sterne.  She subsequently worked as a lawyer and television producer for the BBC and other TV companies.   P...
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Book Reviews

  • "A fine read."
    The Sun
  • "Bracingly factual."
    Daily Mail
  • "Ever since Peter Mayle first made goo-goo eyes at sun dappled Provence in 1990 and pocketed a pile of dough in the process, many a self- respecting hack with a smidgeon of French culture has followed in his train...Eatwell's book provides the perfect antidote. intriguing portrait of just how much France has changed over the past 50 years or so. "
  • " entertaining and fluently written tour around the subject, touching on everything from adultery to the bad smell of the Paris Metro. She is at her best running through the history that gave rise to the stereotypes of hairy women, pretentious films and surrender monkeys.... She does a fine job explaining the nuances of the Gallic outlook. "
    Charles Bremner, The Times
  • "  Eatwell’s investigative non-fiction into 45 lifestyle myths about the French is the bowl of porridge that’s just right, flanked by the unimaginative and often poorly penned Mayle-lit (too hot) and the overly academic histories of France (too cold), both of which styles have inexplicably – and far too numerously – found their way on to expat book shelves and e-readers. ...Eatwell doesn’t waste one word over the 322 pages and, even though she cites over 280 footnotes, her delivery is seamless.... This book is essential for those who often find themselves deeply embattled in the “centuries old, love-hate relationship between Britain and France” yet lack the hard evidence to prove their point. And it would be an ideal book to have on hand for visiting family and friends, who’ll secretly take pleasure to know that “French women are increasingly getting fatter, and that French children do have tantrums over eating their steak au poivre”. "
    Riviera Reporter
  • "The book is as thoroughly engaging as it is wonderfully well researched. Eatwell has drawn on a wealth of sources including books, periodicals, company and governmental surveys, statistics, reports, films and music, interviewing/statement taking from almost everyone she spoke to, be they English and French, and also her own observations and experience garnered from living in France for over a decade. Writing with wit, erudition, insight, and a lightness of touch (I am trying to ignore the part of my brain that is insisting on making a soufflé allusion here) They Eat Horses, Don’t They? is highly readable and personable whilst also being a fascinating, immaculately considered and referenced discourse on its theme... Reading They Eat Horses, Don’t They? provides a fascinating insight into this love/hate affair that has played out across the Channel and across the centuries, and I heartily recommend the book. "
    The Cultural Pick
  • "...every chapter is clear, articulate and informative. There is always something original included and I’d be surprised if a reader learnt nothing new in any of chapters (I can definitely say that I never knew that the Palace of Versailles had no toilets until 1768 and even then they were reserved for royalty).  "
    Army Rumour Service
  • "Eatwell’s fun but informative cultural overview delights in exploding a few myths that the British in particular have about the French, but it’s also a timely answer back to the slew of studies promoting a French way of life, whether with reference to parenting, dressing or eating, as infinitely and always better. "
  • "This is an entertaining read for the Francophile. The author challenges preconceptions with evidence but in a manner that is not overly academic or stuffy."
    Worcester News
  • "...the combination of history, trivia, and firsthand observations offers insights into the cultures on both ends of the Chunnel. "
    Publishers Weekly
  • "The combination of history, trivia, and firsthand observations offers insights into the cultures on both ends of the Chunnel."
    Publishers Weekly
  • "...a highly entertaining book that subjects popular stereotypes to a reality-based fact-check… A welcome corrective to the charming postcard tableaux on display...ever since Peter Mayle's 1989 memoir 'A Year in Provence.'..a book that can make you laugh out loud…"
    New York Times
  • "A highly entertaining book that subjects popular stereotypes to a reality-based fact-check… A welcome corrective to the charming postcard tableaux on display... ever since Peter Mayle's 1989 memoir 'A Year in Provence'... a book that can make you laugh out loud."
    New York Times
  • "[A] very funny take-down of French stereotypes… Eatwell’s tome is not only humorous, but also painstakingly researched."
    The Boston Globe
  • "    Lovers of Paris will enjoy Eatwell’s chronicles of her journeys…Entertaining mini-essays that debunk common idealized conceptions of the French."
  • "Eatwell’s smart book is an entertaining procession through French history and culture as well as a shrewd portrait of contemporary France, it’s full of surprises and revelations. "
    Chicago Tribune
  • "With a lawyer’s forensic approach, she examines the stereotypes of French life, so beloved of the British in particular, and discovers that many are completely false. "
    Daily Mail