I came out, some time ago, as a Francophile. I am pleased to see that noted chronicler of human achievement Charles Murray has joined the small, hardy (but well-fed) band of conservatives who appreciate France.
He describes the healthy sense of French self-regard as not unlike that of Americans. I can vouch for this. I was once speaking with a French acquaintance in a Paris bar who, in an effort to describe the fantastic quality of life is in his hometown, said: “Well, you know how much better the food and wine is in Paris than in America – it’s that much better again in the provinces”. Having spent a fair amount of time in America, Paris and the French provinces, I have to agree with his rank-ordering. This French self-regard, certainly in matters of day-to-day life, is well-justified. Paris really is the most beautiful large city in the world, and Aix-en-Provence the world’s most beautiful small city. You really can step into a falling-down shack on a small road in Burgundy and have the greatest simple meal of your life. The streets of Paris really are full of the best-dressed people on earth.
Mr. Murray, welcome to the cercle!
[Update]: Wow! (with many thanks to Alex Massie)