When it comes to Britain, most Americans don’t know (Union) Jack. Fortunately, now an Anglo-American husband-and-wife team are here to help with a smart, funny, and handy guide that minds the gap between fact and fiction. From Whigs and Windsors to wankers and Wales, this spit-spot-on reference covers all manner of British history, society, culture, language, and everyday life, including
• the class system, title envy, and a thumbnail sketch of British dynasties
• highlights of the social season (yes, they have a social season)
• Parliament, prime ministers, and a wild variety of political parties
• British sports 101, including football (by which we mean soccer), cricket, rugby, snooker, and darts
• answers to the pressing question: What’s on the telly?
• British culinary delights, from Marmite to late-night tikka masala
• odd pronunciations (e.g., how “St. John” becomes “Sin Jun”)
• cockney slang, or why you should never get caught “telling porkies on the dog”
• Londoners’ pride in the Tube and the truth about trainspotting
So whether you’re traveling to England on business or for pleasure, dating a Brit, hoping to comfort a homesick Londoner (whip up a treacle tart, recipe included), or simply curious about life across the pond, Britannia in Brief is the perfect companion.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Britannia in Brief|
|Release Date: 05-19-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||Britannia in Brief|
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Britannia in Brief
So Where Are We Anyway?
England? Britain? UK? What’s the Difference?
First things first: England, Great Britain, UK? All the same thing? These terms, which are so often used interchangeably, actually refer to distinct geographical and, frequently, political entities. Should you still think these distinctions are inconsequential after reading these pages, we invite you to visit, let’s say, a bar in Scotland and inform the boys just how cute their English pub is. By the time your bruises and scars have healed, you will have had ample time to mull over the weightiness of these distinctions.
Scotland, England, and Wales are three separate nations all inhabiting the island of Britain.
What do we mean by “nation”? It is not our intention to burden you with medieval history and constitutional arcana, so suffice it to say, at one point Scotland and Wales were separate kingdoms, which at different points in time, and with varying degrees of resistance, fell sway to English rule through “Acts of Union.” Lest you think this all sounds like a one-way transaction, it should be pointed out that such great “English” dynasties as the Stuarts and the Tudors had their roots in Scotland and Wales respectively.
The United Kingdom, or UK, is officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain (the big island) and Northern Ireland (the predominantly Protestant northeast quarter of the island of Ireland, distinct from the predominantly Catholic Republic of Ireland).
Broadly speaking, the inhabitants of the UK are called “the British” (and definitely not “the Uniteds” or “t