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About the Book

What does it mean to be English in a post-Brexit world? Is it the beer-swilling, tea-drinking, marmite-eating, wonky-toothed caricature? Or is it a bit more nuanced?

Ben Fogle drives a Land Rover, owns a Labrador, wears a Barbour jacket and Hunter wellies. Is he English, British, European or a man of the world? In his quest to find out more about what it means to be English in a rapidly changing world, Ben takes a revealing look at the quirks, habits and foibles of the English people in his latest exploration of our nation’s character(s).

Over the course of a year Ben makes his way through the British seasons to explore what it means to be English, using the weather as a barometer of Englishness. He scrutinises our relationship with the weather through art, literature and music. Beginning in the summer, he takes us through the events that make up the social season, from Wimbledon and Ascot to Glastonbury and the World Cheese Rolling Championships. He tells the fascinating stories of the eccentric aristocracy and their stately homes and visits the Marmite factory and the home of the Mackintosh jacket.

Moving through the autumn and into the winter, Ben explores our rich maritime and naval heritage and unravels the story of some of our greatest heroic explorers who survived in climates far more extreme than our own. He meets Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards, who came to define the heart of what it is to be English as the heroic hopeless underdog in winter sport and Michael Palin, a national treasure and pioneer of the subtle art of English humour. The journey also includes the Oxford Cambridge boat race, Wimbledon, the Proms, Glyndbourne, Goodwood Festival of Speed, Monty Python, Ale, the full English fry-up, John Betjeman, Royalty and Essex girls as Ben explores what it really means to be ‘English’.

Covering history, attitudes to foreigners, sport, stereotypes, language and more, English is filled with revealing stories and anecdotes that provide a fascinating portrait of a nation and its people.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780008222253
  • ISBN 10: 0008222258
  • Imprint: William Collins
  • On Sale: 11/21/2017
  • Pages: 336
  • List Price: 22.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural & Social
  • BISAC2: HUMOR / General

English by Ben Fogle

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