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England: An Elegy Paperback – 2 Aug 2001

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Paperback, 2 Aug 2001
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Pimlico; New edition edition (2 Aug. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712668055
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712668057
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 13 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 207,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Following in the footsteps of distinguished books such as Peter Laslett's The World We Have Lost and Julian Barnes' England, England, Roger Scruton's England: An Elegy is a deeply personal lament for the disappearance of the England of his childhood. "Having been famous for their stoicism, their decorum, their honesty, their gentleness and their sexual puritanism, the English now subsist in a society in which those qualities are no longer honoured, a society of people who regard long-term loyalties with cynicism, and whose response to misfortune is to look around for someone to sue". The result is a deeply personal account of Scruton's own life, his complex relationship with his disillusioned socialist father, who "loved what was local, collegial and attached to the land", and a wide-ranging historical and philosophical meditation on English character, community, religion, law, society, government, culture and the countryside. England: An Elegy is an impassioned defence of monarchy, religion and home, against the ^"anti-English hullabaloo" that Scruton detects in a climate of devolution and European federalism. He writes with his typically intelligent and sceptical conservatism, but this is a deeply pessimistic and elitist book, that will only delight right-wing Eurosceptics. The book has a tendency to demolish Marxist views on nationhood through rhetoric rather than evidence, and its historical scope is simply too large and vague to offer a serious account of Englishness as a social and political phenomenon. Scruton offers no answers to England's dilemmas, arguing simply to be allowed to mourn the death of England, and that "to describe something as dead is not to call for its resurrection". Many readers might find that England: An Elegy is a fitting epitaph to a world that we are glad to have lost, if it ever really existed. --Jerry Brotton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

‘Elegant and moving…a classic elegy.’ -- Melvyn Bragg, Independent

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Format: Paperback
Scruton is not a reactionary; do not be put off by his columms which often suggest outraged sentimentality: the worst kind. The IRA thrive on that diet.
The book is well researched; the prose is never stodgy; the arguments and summaries never make you feel uncomfortable; and the impulses behind the writing of 'England' are never mean spirited.
Scruton deplores jingoism. He derides the same type of verse and prose which Wilfred Owen vilified in 'Dulce et decorum est'. Henry Newbolt for example comes in for some incendiary commentary.
Scruton celebrates the inventiveness; the quirkiness; the randomness; the intellectual acuity; the bovine stubborness; the bravery; the foolishness of Englishness. The lament to institutions is particularly telling. The atrophy of aspects of nature as a result of insipid urban sprawl made me sigh. Societies which 'protect' birds, he notes, can only powerlessly report on their decline.
Scruton helpfully 'anatomises' the concept of Englishness which I, for one, didn't wholly understand.
Patriotism need not be the last resort of the scoundrel. I am not a scoundrel and, in spite of what you might think about Scruton's journalism, neither is he.
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Format: Hardcover
Roger Scruton has penned an important - and possibly definitive - contribution vis-a-vis the developing debate on 'Englishness'. He examines the core areas of the English polity and national psyche in eleven chapters, and does so with refreshing intellectual rigour. Mr Scruton provides many fascinating insights, often illuminated by poignant personal recollections. Neither too dry and 'academic' nor too 'populist' and sentimental, this is an unusual, sad and illuminating 'elegy', but an elegy it certainly is. For anyone interested in England, the English, or the United Kingdom today, it provides invaluable reading. I highly reccommend it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Roger Scruton is a major philosopher was written a book about what Egland means to him and why he is concerned that it is fast disappearing. Timely and welcome.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dear Old England 8 Aug. 2006
By Neil Watson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Those that lament the passing of some of the very best qualities that made England a great country will find solace in Roger Scruton's wonderfully written book. Of course nothing stays the same, though sometimes we might wish it to. I think that readers who are English and who were born around the middle of the twentieth century will find this book particularly poignant, and, in some ways, incredibly sad.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roger Scruton celebrates the virtues of English life 21 May 2016
By Robert J. Hutchinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Roger Scruton is a British national treasure. For Americans largely indoctrinated with libertarianism, Scruton provides a necessary conservative correction, praising the civilizing virtues of home, hearth, church and country (both the nation and the rural life).
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars plus I love his prose and easy command of English 29 Feb. 2016
By jim teeters - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Scruton is the only certifiable genius I 've read recently, plus I love his prose and easy command of English.
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