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England

Sir Frank Fox

Book Overview: 

What is this strange land called England; so small in size yet so powerful in influence? What makes her so unique, talented and persistent? This book attempts to answer that. It is a short, well written explanation of England as a unique country written by someone who loved it deeply and yet, as an Australian, could be a bit impartial. In the first part he explains the 'making' of England; the Britons and the Romans, the Anglo-Saxons and the Normands. But from there he attempts to give an essence or flavor, delving into the work, the play, the schools, the churches and especially the landscape which make it special. "I have sought in this book to give an impression of some of the most "English" features of the land, devoting a little space first to an attempt to explain the origins of the English people. Thus the English fields and flowers and trees, the English homes and schools are given far more attention than English cities, English manufactures; for they are more peculiar to the land and the people. More markedly than in any superiority of her material greatness England stands apart from the rest of the world as the land of green trees and meadows, the land of noble schools and of sweet homes" from the preface

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Anglo-Saxons had. The Roman culture of Britain had been just as high as the Roman culture of Gaul. But in Britain its tradition had been lost to a great extent in the onrush of the rude, unlettered Anglo-Saxons. In Gaul the Norsemen had won only a district, not the whole country, and they had been surrounded by civilising influences and had reacted to them wonderfully. Practically all the fine buildings of England date from after the Norman Epoch. But it is a fact which will strike at once the student of those buildings, who afterwards compares them with contemporary Norman buildings in France, that Norman architecture was not transplanted to England. Whilst at Rouen, Lisieux, Caen, Bayeux, you see the churches usually in Flamboyant or[Pg 24] Ogival Gothic; in England the churches of about the same date are in a more severe and straight-laced style. It is well worth the trouble to study somewhat closely the churches built by the Normans in France and by the Norman-English . . . Read More