Julian Jackson

Julian Jackson is professor of French at the University of Wales, Swansea. His latest book is France: The Dark Years 1940-44.

Who broke the Vase of Soissons? Once, every French school child would have known the answer to that question, as they would have known that their ancestors were Gauls with blue eyes and blond hair (they knew this even if they were learning their lessons in Africa or the West Indies); that Charlemagne had a flowing white beard and cared about education (but he may have been most popular...


England v. France

17 December 2009

There are two factual errors in Charles Glass’s piece on Britain and Vichy France (LRB, 17 December 2009). First, it was not General Noguès, commander of the French forces in North Africa, who ordered French troops to fire on the British and Free French at Dakar in September 1940, but General Pierre Boisson, who was the governor-general of West Africa. Second, it was not Darlan who replaced Laval...

The Seducer: De Gaulle

Ferdinand Mount, 2 August 2018

My eye falls on a blog headlined ‘Macron is restoring France’s dignity.’ What sort of polity is it that needs to have its dignity restored so frequently? Is not the quest for grandeur insisted on...

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