The real attack on French culture here is the parliament's decision to reinforce the state of emergency, by no way a banner for tourists or French citizens alike. We look at France as the birthplace of modern democracy, and the country's founding call for liberté is something we should not take for granted the world over.
Economic performance is ever variable, but a raison d'être based in being a moral force for good is a more durable status and one that might be better suited to winning the loyalties of citizens. At the very least one would think that Europe's defenders might have something more to say than just repeating those scary economic threats.
In October 2009, I set out on a rugby tour to France with thirty teenage boys. I had uncovered the sad story at our London club, Rosslyn Park, of a lost Great War memorial; a 1919 press clipping stated 72 had died, but no names. Some 109 names of men who lived, loved, played, fought and fell have now emerged from club records and lost memory.
The evidence suggests that even in the ancient world, women were using what may seem similar to modern hygiene products. The Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates of Kos, who is known as the Father of Medicine, is widely referenced on the internet as mentioning that small wooden sticks, wrapped with soft lint, might be inserted into the vagina as a primitive tampon.
The desert scenes in The Force Awakens clearly reference British films about war in North Africa such as Ice Cold in Alex. Finally - and switching sides this time - the landing of the stormtroopers straight into a firefight at the beginning of the film is a clear echo of the depiction of the D-Day landings in Saving Private Ryan.
Since completing an MA in Gender, Sexuality and Culture at Birkbeck, University of London, I have become increasingly interested in LGBTQ+ histories both as a researcher and as a member of queer non-binary trans and, through my friends, a bigger LGBTQ+ community. I am especially interested in how our histories are written and who by.
I love studying history. I don't think I will ever tire of it. It's exciting, it's full of drama and passion, heartbreak and victories: it has a better plot than any novel you can buy. There's nothing I love more than rifling through the wardrobe accounts of Edward IV or debating the implications of Richard III's actions.