Englishness Identified: Manners and Character 1650-1850

OUP Oxford, 20 d’abr. 2000 - 402 pàgines
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In the seventeenth century the English were often depicted as a nation of barbarians, fanatics, and king-killers. Two hundred years later they were more likely to be seen as the triumphant possessors of a unique political stability, vigorous industrial revolution, and a world-wide empire. These may have been British achievements; but the virtues which brought about this transformation tended to be perceived as specifically English. Ideas of what constituted Englishness changed from a stock notion of waywardness and unpredictability to one of discipline and dedication. The evolution of the so-called national character - today once more the subject of scrutiny and debate - is traced through the impressions and analyses of foreign observers, and related to English ambitions and anxieties during a period of intense change.

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Pàgina 198 - Bull has noth ing to say. His forefathers have been out of spirits for six or seven hundred years, and. seeing nothing but fog and vapour, he is out of spirits too; and when there is no selling or buying, or no business to settle, he prefers being alone and looking at the fire.
Pàgina 64 - But no one who has seen much of actual ploughmen thinks them jocund; no one who is well acquainted with the English peasantry can pronounce them merry. The slow gaze, in which no sense of beauty beams, no humor twinkles, — the slow utterance and the heavy slouching walk...
Pàgina 20 - A gluttonous race of Jutes and Angles, capable of no grand combinations ; lumbering about in potbellied equanimity ; not dreaming of heroic toil and silence and endurance, such as leads to the high places of this Universe, and the golden mountain-tops where dwell the Spirits of the Dawn.
Pàgina 19 - I know anything of. 1 . The people are purer English blood; less mixed with Scotch, Irish, Dutch, French, Danish, Swedish, etc., than any other; and descended from Englishmen, too, who left Europe in purer times than the present, and less tainted with corruption than those they left behind them.
Pàgina 30 - ... has no occasion to exert his understanding, or to exercise his invention, in finding out expedients for removing difficulties which never occur. He naturally loses, therefore, the habit of such exertion, and generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become.
Pàgina 79 - Nature's favorite resource for preserving steadiness of conduct and consistency of opinion. It enforces concentration; people who learn slowly learn only what they must. The best security for...
Pàgina 201 - Walter Savage Landor. Her house is furnished with a luxury and splendour not to be surpassed ; her dinners are frequent and good ; and D'Orsay does the honours with a frankness and cordiality which are very successful ; but all this does not make society, in the real meaning of the term. There is a vast deal of coming and going, and eating and drinking, and a corresponding amount of noise, but little or no conversation, discussion, easy quiet interchange of ideas and opinions, no regular social foundation...

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