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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

Community Reviews

Sooo....wanna know who's who in the hierarchy of the Anglican church (you need this if you read Trollope, my little sweetie)? Would ya like to learn all those card games they played way back when people actually faced one another IN PERSON when playing a game? Care about old food, fashion, and so...more

It's not exactly everything one needs to know about nineteenth-century England, but it does a fine job at hitting upon most of the little knowledge gaps that can crop up for modern readers of Dickens, Hardy, Trollope, Austen, and their contemporaries. Particularly devoted readers of such Brit Lit...more

i love shit like this. nothing pleases me more than to know the proper table setting for a victorian outdoor tea (though you wouldn't know it to watch me eat). regardless of that, sadly, this book (which i read immediately before it) did not help me understand what the damned peasants in "the ret...more

What is a lord chancellor? What, exactly, was a pound worth? How much weight was a “stone”? Is a peer a hereditary or bestowed title? Which of society members constitutes a peerage? Give up?

This is a comprehensive—at times almost staggeringly so—look at what life was like for the highborn and lo...more

This book is a broad survey of how life was led in England over the course of the nineteenth century. It addresses both material and social arrangements, with a few dips into economics and history.

As you might imagine from such a broad mandate, it treats its many subjects shallowly; nevertheless...more

Anyone that is interested in the classic 19th century British novels, novels centered on 19th century British life, or 19th century British history would be greatly assisted by possession of a copy of this little book. It is a relatively short volume that reads like a combination almanac, compend...more

Maybe 2.5. This book has a lot of useful and interesting information in, but it's presented in a very dry way. It reads more like a textbook than anything else. I also take slight issue with the amount of novels it spoils, and the fact it fails to distinguish between words, concepts and tradition...more

I am a huge fan of Jane Austen and I enjoy reading the works of Charles Dickens. Emma, would be my favorite works of Jane Austen. I know most people enjoy and would say Pride and Prejudice, but Emma is more up my alley. As far as the works of Charles Dickens, I would have to say A Christmas Carol...more

A fun and informative book, but occasionally a little disjointed. Daniel Pool, an American lawyer by training, a lover of British novels by avocation, really digs into the the customs, mores and behaviors of Nineteenth Century Englanders. He illustrates his discussion of elaborate balls, courting...more

Covering the span of 19th century England, the author shared bits and pieces of what life would have been like if you lived back then. All I knew is that as a woman, I very much appreciate living now. Pretty much, if you were not a member of the peerage and/or royalty, you had a difficult life. And e...more

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