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How England Made the English: From Why We Drive on the Left to Why We Don't Talk to Our Neighbours
 
 

How England Made the English: From Why We Drive on the Left to Why We Don't Talk to Our Neighbours [Kindle Edition]

Harry Mount
2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Product Description

Review

A lovely book, very engaging and easy to read. There are chapters on weather and soil and stone, on the history of hedges or the making of suburbia, all of them infectious did-you-knows. Mount is a natural and enthusiastic sharer of knowledge (Evening Standard)

Charming and nerdily fact-stuffed (Guardian)

Lively, a delight. Mount's paragraphs explode with information . . . I love all this, want more, and am given it. The sort of book, in its temperament and in its detail, that has helped to make England English (Spectator)

Mount is as perceptive as he is obsessive, and time and again he skewers with unfailing accuracy some aspect of our national character (Mail on Sunday)

'Fascinating. Mount's an intelligent, funny and always interesting companion (Daily Mail)

Product Description

Harry Mount's How England Made the English: From Why We Drive on the Left to Why We Don't Talk to Our Neighbours is packed with astonishing facts and wonderful stories.



Q. Why are English train seats so narrow?



A. It's all the Romans' fault. The first Victorian trains were built to the same width as horse-drawn wagons; and they were designed to fit the ruts left in the roads by Roman chariots.



For readers of Paxman's The English, Bryson's Notes on a Small Island and Fox's Watching the English, this intriguing and witty book explains how our national characteristics - our sense of humour, our hobbies, our favourite foods and our behaviour with the opposite sex - are all defined by our nation's extraordinary geography, geology, climate and weather.



You will learn how we would be as freezing cold as Siberia without the Gulf Stream; why we drive on the left-hand side of the road; why the Midlands became the home of the British curry. It identifies the materials that make England, too: the faint pink Aberdeen granite of kerbstones; that precise English mix of air temperature, smell and light that hits you the moment you touch down at Heathrow.



Praise for Harry Mount:



'Highly readable, encyclopeadic, marvellous, illuminating. Mount portrays England via dextrous excavations of its geography, geology, history and weather' Independent



'Fascinating. Mount's an intelligent, funny and always interesting companion' Daily Mail



'Charming and nerdily fact-stuffed' Guardian



Harry Mount is the author of Amo, Amas, Amat and All That, his best-selling book on Latin, and A Lust for Window Sills - A Guide to British Buildings. A journalist for many newspapers and magazines, he has been a New York correspondent and a leader writer for the Daily Telegraph. He studied classics and history at Oxford, and architectural history at the Courtauld Institute. He lives in north London.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4190 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (31 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007TB5RQK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #85,204 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The idea of this book really interested me. I'd always wondered what made England look or feel different to other countries, even just over the channel. And the chapter headings seemed a logical structure to look at this. But I kept having to re-read the chapters to try and get to the point. So for example, it's really interesting to understand how laws around 'enclosure' make our fields look the way they do but I still don't really know why that is. Clearly the author knows a lot, but as he rattles through his points and his opinions (which I didn't always agree with as an Englishman) it doesn't stop long enough to set out exactly why things are the way they are. Maybe some of these things are too complicated to explain succinctly but I found that I could fill in some of the gaps by looking at other books and Wikipedia, so I suspect it could have done with sharpening up.

All in all, I'd have preferred bigger picture, and less breezy, journalistic opinion.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How England made the English 31 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback
Yet More nonsense from this second rate "author" do not waste your time on this or any of his other books utter rubbish ( in my opinion )
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother 31 Jan 2014
By sammy
Format:Paperback
Absolute waste of time and money this book tells you nothing you already knew from a writer that just makes things up- totally boring !!! Harry mount should pay you to read this
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars don't waste your money or time! 31 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback
One of the most boring, uninformative books i have ever read.

Very plain, watching grass grow is more exciting.

I would rather pull my own toe nails off before reading another chapter from this old balderdash.

Hope this helps.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wake me up 1 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback
What a boring book,Bill Bryson is a much better read than this. Fell asleep reading this dribble, don t waste your time or cash.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars irrellevent 2 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback
Irrellevent book in todays world .Best get a book that has reaserched the subject entirely and has some relevence to the subject.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Back to Skool 1 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback
I have to say I was very disappointed in this book! As a keen historian interested in English history I expected a bit more instead of what looks like a series of extended newspaper columns strung together (a bit like Belle de Jour without the good bits ie all of it!)

I did a bit of digging and found out that this Harry Mount is an old Etonian and ex-member of the infamous Bullingdon Club! I imagine he expects cab drivers to doff their caps to him when he hands them a shiny new six pence as a tip and calls them plebs!

So, I say to Harry Mount in the best Etonian school master tradition - 'MOUNT!! C minus!! Go to the back of the class and see me after tiffin for six of the best!!'
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Toilet fodder!! 1 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback
......Just don't bother. This is the second book by Harry Mount I've tried as he's a journalist & one would expect informed, educated literature? Don't! You won't get any here! Mis-informed, uneducated poppycock just about sums this (and the other bog roll I have of his!), up. Disappointing at best.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Excellent condition.A satisfied customer.
Published 1 month ago by tonyf
4.0 out of 5 stars Packed full of interesting facts and observations however some things...
In this book, Harry Mount explains how England and the English people have evolved over time in to what we know today. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Adam
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book, jam packed with interesting info
A great book, jam packed with interesting info. In fact I want to read it again to pick up on all the bits I missed or have forgotten!
Published 1 month ago by AWalker
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A present for a man who lives in France!
Published 2 months ago by J P Holton
4.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to the factors which make England look so English.
I found this book fascinating, setting out in an easily accessible way the key factors which created England as we know it today. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Timothy Sunter
1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't "answer the question" and would irritate anyone who knows...
Doesn't "answer the question" and would irritate anyone who knows places north of London. A few interesting facts but full of inaccuracies and glaring omissions - which... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mrs. M. H. Teremetz
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great
Published 3 months ago by M. Foster
2.0 out of 5 stars It makes you feel like everything is done better because it is in...
This book has some interesting insights, however it is too anglocentric and sciovinistic. It makes you feel like everything is done better because it is in England. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Luca
1.0 out of 5 stars S***
Load of old s***, I mean really really really s***.
Don't waste your money, did I say it was s***?
Published 4 months ago by Danny Berry
1.0 out of 5 stars Time I'll never get back
Well what can I say, the time I have spent reading this rubbish I shall never get back wish I had read the reviews first don't waste your life with this author
Published 4 months ago by Mr Michael Sparks
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