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Stephen Clarke - Author

About the Author

Stephen Clarke lives in Paris, where he divides his time between writing and not writing. His first novel, A Year in the Merde, originally became a word-of-mouth hit in 2004, and is now published all over the world. Since then he has published three more bestselling Merde novels, as well as Talk to the Snail, an indispensable guide to understanding the French.

Research for Stephen's novels has taken him all over France and America. For 1000 Years of Annoying the French, he has also been breathing the chill air of ruined castles and deserted battlefields, leafing through dusty chronicles, brushing up the medieval French he studied at university and generally losing himself in the mists of history.

He has now returned to present-day Paris, and is doing his best to live the entente cordiale.

Featured books by Stephen Clarke

The Merde Factor (Paul West 5)

The Merde Factor (Paul West 5)

Author: Stephen Clarke Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/09/2012

Paul West's apartment is so small that he has to cut his baguettes in two to fit them in the kitchen. His research into authentic French cuisine is about to cause a national strike. His Parisian business partner is determined to close their tea-room. And thinks that sexually harrassing his female employees is a basic human right. And Paul's gorgeous ex-girlfriend seems to be stalking him. Threatened with eviction, unemployment and bankrupcy, Paul realises that his personal merde factor is about to hit the fan...

Other books by Stephen Clarke

How the French Won Waterloo - or Think They Did

How the French Won Waterloo - or Think They Did

Author: Stephen Clarke Format: eBook Release Date: 02/07/2015

Published in the 200th Anniversary year of the Battle of Waterloo a witty look at how the French still think they won, by Stephen Clarke, author of 1000 Years of Annoying the French and A Year in the Merde.Two centuries after the Battle of Waterloo, the French are still in denial.If Napoleon lost on 18 June 1815 (and that's a big 'if'), then whoever rules the universe got it wrong. As soon as the cannons stopped firing, French historians began re-writing history. The Duke of Wellington was beaten, they say, and then the Prussians jumped into the boxing ring, breaking all the rules of battle. In essence, the French cannot bear the idea that Napoleon, their greatest-ever national hero, was in any way a loser. Especially not against the traditional enemy - les Anglais.Stephen Clarke has studied the French version of Waterloo, as told by battle veterans, novelists, historians - right up to today's politicians, and he has uncovered a story of pain, patriotism and sheer perversion ...

1000 Years of Annoying the French

1000 Years of Annoying the French

Author: Stephen Clarke Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/05/2015

NEW UPDATED EDITION Was the Battle of Hastings a French victory? Non! William the Conqueror was Norman and hated the French. Were the Brits really responsible for the death of Joan of Arc? Non! The French sentenced her to death for wearing trousers. Did the French write God Save the Queen ? Non! But that's what they claim. Ten centuries' worth of French historical 'facts' bite the dust as Stephen Clarke looks at what has really been going on since 1066 ... Featuring new annoyances - both historical and recent - inflicted on the French, including Napoleon's banned chamber pot, Louis XIV's painful operation, Anglo-French jibes during the 2012 London Olympics, French niggles about William and Kate's royal wedding, and much more ...

1000 Years of Annoying the French

1000 Years of Annoying the French

Author: Stephen Clarke Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/05/2015

NEW UPDATED EDITION Was the Battle of Hastings a French victory? Non! William the Conqueror was Norman and hated the French. Were the Brits really responsible for the death of Joan of Arc? Non! The French sentenced her to death for wearing trousers. Did the French write God Save the Queen ? Non! But that's what they claim. Ten centuries' worth of French historical 'facts' bite the dust as Stephen Clarke looks at what has really been going on since 1066 ... Featuring new annoyances - both historical and recent - inflicted on the French, including Napoleon's banned chamber pot, Louis XIV's painful operation, Anglo-French jibes during the 2012 London Olympics, French niggles about William and Kate's royal wedding, and much more ...

Dirty Bertie: An English King Made in France

Dirty Bertie: An English King Made in France

Author: Stephen Clarke Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/04/2015

The entertaining biography of Edward VII and his playboy lifestyle, by Stephen Clarke, author of 1000 Years of Annoying the French and A Year in the Merde. Despite fierce opposition from his mother, Queen Victoria, Edward VII was always passionately in love with France. He had affairs with the most famous Parisian actresses, courtesans and can-can dancers. He spoke French more elegantly than English. He was the first ever guest to climb the Eiffel Tower with Gustave Eiffel, in defiance of an official English ban on his visit. He turned his French seduction skills into the diplomatic prowess that sealed the Entente Cordiale. A quintessentially English king? Pas du tout! Stephen Clarke argues that as 'Dirty Bertie', Edward learned all the essentials in life from the French.

Annoying The French Encore!

Annoying The French Encore!

Author: Stephen Clarke Format: eBook Release Date: 16/08/2012

A NOTE FROM THE AUTHORBonjour cher reader,Ever since European history began, we Brits have been happily engaged in our national pastime - annoying the French. And the past couple of years have shown that this annoying never stops. To give just three examples:After a mid-Atlantic collision between French and British nuclear submarines, France's Minister of Defence seemed to blame the accident on ... shrimps.When French political superstar Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York, France's establishment was outraged. It soon emerged that sexual harassment was regarded as a basic human right by the country's male lite. (This theme provided so much excellent material that I decided to include it in the plot of my soon-to-be published novel, The Merde Factor.)And when David Cameron walked out of a Eurosummit, a French politician accused him of being 'like a man at a wife-swapping party who refuses to bring his own wife.' Yes, a very French image, and it just one of the many anti-Anglais insults that came flying across the Channel. You will find all this, and much more, in Annoying the French Encore! Because, for the French, the merde never ends.Yours historically,Stephen Clarke, Paris, August 2012 Tremendously entertaining Sunday Times Relentlessly and energetically rude Mail on Sunday

Talk To The Snail

Talk To The Snail

Author: Stephen Clarke Format: eBook Release Date: 01/04/2012

From the bestselling author of A Year in The Merde, the Ten Commandments for Living with the FrenchHave you been taken to what you've been assured is the perfect house deep in the French countryside, only to find there's no electricity or running water? Gone to the doctor with a nasty cough, and been diagnosed with a rather more personal complaint? Walked into an half-empty restaurant, only to be told that it's complet?If the answer to any of the above is oui, Talk to the Snail is the book for you.Find out how to get served in a restaurant; the best way to deal with French hypochondria; learn the language of love, sex and suppositories (not necessarily in that order); it's all here in this funny, informative, seriously useful guide on how to get what you really want from the French.With advice on essential phrases and bons mots to cover all eventualities, and illustrated with witty real-life anecdotes, Talk to the Snail is a book that no self-respecting Francophile - or Francophobe - can afford to be without.Don't go to France without reading this book.And don't even think of buying a house there.

Year in the Merde

Year in the Merde

Author: Stephen Clarke Format: eBook Release Date: 01/04/2012

Self-published in France, and a subsequent bestseller, the hilarious story of a year in the life of a young Englishman abroad.Paul West, a young Englishman, arrives in Paris to start a new job - and finds out what the French are really like.They do eat a lot of cheese, some of which smells like pigs' droppings. They don't wash their armpits with garlic soap. Going on strike really is the second national participation sport after p,tanque. And, yes, they do use suppositories.In his first novel, Stephen Clarke gives a laugh-out-loud account of the pleasures and perils of being a Brit in France. Less quaint than A Year in Provence, less chocolatey than Chocolat, A Year in the Merde will tell you how to get served by the grumpiest Parisian waiter; how to make perfect vinaigrette every time; how to make amour - not war; and how not to buy a house in the French countryside.

Merde Happens

Merde Happens

Author: Stephen Clarke Format: eBook Release Date: 01/04/2012

Q: What happens when an Englishman, an American, and a French woman drive across America in a Mini? A: Merde Happens ...Paul West is in deep financial merde. His only way out of debt is to accept a decidedly dodgy job that involves him touring America in a Mini, while pretending to be typically British.Also in the car is Paul's French girlfriend, Alexa, and his American poet friend, Jake, whose main aim in life is to sleep with a woman from every country in the world. Preferably in the back of Paul's Mini.But as the little car battles from New York to Miami, and then heads west, leg-room turns out to be the least of Paul's troubles. His work is being sabotaged, his tour plans are in tatters, and his love life becomes a Franco-American war zone.And as Paul knows better than anyone, when you mix love and war - merde happens ...

Merde Actually

Merde Actually

Author: Stephen Clarke Format: eBook Release Date: 01/04/2012

From the bestselling author of A Year in the Merde, the next instalment in the hilarious adventures of Paul West.'Edgier than Bryson, hits harder than Mayle' The TimesA year after arriving in France, Englishman Paul West is still struggling with some fundamental questions:What is the best way to scare a gendarme? Why are there no health warnings on French nudist beaches? And is it really polite to sleep with your boss's mistress?Paul opens his English tea room, and mutates (temporarily) into a Parisian waiter; samples the pleasures of typically French hotel-room afternoons; and, on a return visit to the UK, sees the full horror of a British office party through Parisian eyes.Meanwhile, he continues his search for the perfect French mademoiselle. But will Paul find l'amour ,ternel, or will it all end in merde?MERDE ACTUALLYIn his second comedy of errors, Paul West continues to sabotage the entente cordiale.Author's apology: 'I'd just like to say sorry to all the suppository fans out there, because in this book there are no suppositories. There are, however, lots of courgettes, and I see this as progress. Suppositories to courgettes - I think it proves that I'm developing as a writer.' Stephen Clarke

Dial M for Merde

Dial M for Merde

Author: Stephen Clarke Format: eBook Release Date: 20/03/2012

Bemused Brit Paul West steps in it once again when a romantic getaway to the south of France is spoiled by international intrigueWhen the glorious oceanographer Gloria Monday convinces Paul West to travel to the swank beaches of southern Francewhere she's investigating caviar-smuggling cartelshe assumes he's about to have the time of his life. But for West, France has always been full of surprises underfoot, and this trip is no exception to the rule. He's soon dragged into an undercover investigation that goes all the way to the top and leaves him feeling sometimes like James Bond, sometimes like Inspector Clouseau.Dial M for Merde is a comic caper that pokes fun at French society at every level, from pompous politicians to grumpy waitstaff.

Paris Revealed

Paris Revealed

Author: Stephen Clarke Format: eBook Release Date: 20/03/2012

A guide to Paris for those who are mystified by the city, those who are in love with it, and those who feel a little of bothStephen Clarke may have adopted Paris as his home, but he still has an Englishman's eye for the people, cafes, art, sidewalks, food, fashion, and romance that make Paris a one-of-a-kind city. This irreverent outsider-turned-insider guide shares local savoir faire, from how to separate the good restaurants from the bad to navigating the baffling Metro system. It also provides invaluable insights into the etiquette of public urination and the best ways to experience Parisian life without annoying the Parisians (a truly delicate art). Clarke's witty and expert tour of the city leaves no boulevard unexploredeven those that might be better left alone.

1000 Years of Annoying the French

1000 Years of Annoying the French

Author: Stephen Clarke Format: eBook Release Date: 20/03/2012

Stephen Clarke's hilarious and enlightening history of the love-hate relationship between Britain and FranceThings have been just a little awkward between Britain and France ever since the Norman invasion in 1066. Over the subsequent thousand years of wars, treaties, and cultural rivalries, the strange relationship between these nations ranged from contentious to comic. From the Hundred Years' War and Joan of Arc, to the American Revolution and the Louisiana Purchase, to the ascendance of Napoleon Bonaparte and dawning of the Victorian era, Clarke examines with insight and humor the misfortunes and missteps that marked British and Frenchand sometimes Americanrelations through the centuries.Fast-paced and endlessly entertaining, 1,000 Years of Annoying the French is a riveting history of western Europe's oddest couple.

Dial M for Merde

Dial M for Merde

Author: Stephen Clarke Format: eBook Release Date: 31/08/2011

In the South of France, Paul West has a licence to thrill...Paul West has received an offer he can't refuse: two weeks in the sun with a beautiful blonde. M, as she likes to be known, is down south to report on caviar trafficking - or is she? Meanwhile, Paul's friend Elodie is marrying an aristocrat, and Paul has been asked to do the catering. Although cooking for the French is always a risky assignment ... As Paul is sexually harassed by a hen party, picked on by French commandos and arrested by excitable gendarmes, events start spiralling out of control. And when he discovers that M's real target is France's new President - and that he's coming to Elodie's wedding - Paul realises the merde really is about to hit the fan...

The Strawberry Hill Press and its Printing House

The Strawberry Hill Press and its Printing House

Author: Stephen Clarke Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/07/2011

Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill Press, founded in 1757, is the most celebrated of the early English private presses, unique for the importance of the books, pamphlets, and ephemera it produced. This illustrated study of the Press draws on a remarkable array of surviving images of the Printing House, many of them newly discovered and previously unstudied. But more than that, this book provides an original and sustained analysis of Walpole's extraordinary literary endeavor, and of the complex variety of purposes that the Press fulfilled. The volume not only assesses all known images to discover what they can tell us about Walpole's Press, but also reveals that, quite unexpectedly, a large part of Walpole's Printing House survives to this day.