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Anglophilia

Someone teasingly called me an Anglophile the other day, and I was completely startled.  “Really?” I said, “Do you think so?”

She laughed and laughed and laughed.  I came home and asked (my British beloved) Christopher Robin if he thought I was an anglophile. Field at HawkhurstWithout a blink, he said, “Uh….duh.”

I suppose I don’t like the word because it sounds like I love England more than I love America, which is not true.

So I had to look around my life, and yes, it’s true that I have an English husband, and he’s the reason for a lot of our quirkily English habits, like the (imported) PG Tips for breakfast, not coffee, and the HP sauce and Branston pickle in our cupboard, the salad cream (not mayo) that he must have to put on his salads in the summer time. Those are for him. Mostly. It’s true I love tea, British tea made with sugar and milk, and drink great gobs of it, but I grew up on tea.

Well, and there is the matter of English history, which I know much better than American history, if I’m honest. American history bored me to cross-eyedness, whereas English history was full of queens and princes and monarchs and swords and moats. I loved historical novels as a girl—of course I would love English history! And then I started writing them, so I had to study those eras even more, the Georgians and the medievals, and then I discovered plague, which is so desperately interesting and not exactly English, but a great force in English history.

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It is also true that I love the fact that the English garden, as if it is a national sport.  Sometimes, in England, you can visit a garden that is also on the grounds of an old manor house or even a castle. With a moat or a bowling green or some closet that once held a body. I love gardens and flowersand castles. Why wouldn’t I like them all together like that?


And okay, there is the matter of the beauty of those landscapes. I am constantly amazed at the number of people who can be hidden away among the rolling hills, how it can all appear to be completely deserted, only a horse and a couple of sheep occupying the landscape far into the hazy, hilly distance, and then you spy, hiding, a subdivision that must house thousands.  
st waiting for me?

It’s also a walking land, full of paths steeped in history. I am a walker, thus I love places where I can walk.

Oh, the history, did I mention history? History in every village, across every road. History reaching far, far, far back in the most

The local castle, where CR's father volunteered for a long time. I used to have a picture of this castle in a book and couldn't imagine that I'd ever get to see it.

The local castle, where CR’s father volunteered for a long time. I used to have a picture of this castle in a book and couldn’t imagine that I’d ever get to see it.

interesting ways. To the kings fighting for dominance, to the French invading, the Celts, the whoever else, the barbarians far back.  History in layers like the rings on a tree, here and here and here.  Standing in a village square, I could, if I had a time machine travel to 100 BC or 1066 or 1348 or 1942.  Where else can I touch history like that? The scars of the Blitz, still lingering on buildings? Walk on the battlefield that changed history entirely? Drink in a pub where Shakespeare might have sat?

Pubs. Yes. There are pubs with solid beer in pints, and we all know that I do love ale, and pints of it are absolutely agreeable, even if bartenders always try to talk me into a half-pint, seeing as I am so ladylike and all. I love pubs and pies and fires and dogs. Yes, those things, too.

I ask you, what’s not to like? I’m hardly an Anglophile for loving perfectly fascinating things, am I?

CR says I am an Anglophile because I can’t see the forest for the trees. That forest, according to him, is that England Is A Cold Wet Miserable Country.  He’s a Coloradophile.

Are you an Anglophile, like me? Or another sort of -phile? 

 

5 comments to Anglophilia

  • skay

    I’m with CR about Colorado but I’m from South Texas and there are no mountains here.

  • I have been an anglophile since I can remember, and that is a long, long time. I guess you could say it started with the Beatles and ever since then I have devoured British History. I used to have a subscription to British Heritage Magazine, probably kept that subscription for 5 years. Sad to say I no longer have the magazines, with all the moves I have made in the past 20 years they have gone by the wayside, but not my love for UK History. Love it!

  • I’m not anything any more, but I miss the Mexico City I grew up in – way back in the 1960s. And the weather there cannot be beat – if you pick the right place (Valle de Bravo or Huatulco will do). Absolutely gorgeous flowers all year long.

    There are things wrong with everywhere – but nice weather, consistently, is hard to beat.

    My current wish? To buy a tiny house (Google it) and a pickup, and move when I want to.

  • Barbara Samuel

    Tiny houses are a delight, Alicia. And to have lived in Mexico City in the 60s sounds like a dream.

  • Oh yes, very much so. When I was very young growing up in Southern California I was fascinated with the Spanish history of the land. The Californios, the Dons an aristocracy of it all. When I was twelve I was introduced to Elswyth Thane and instantly my passion shifted. I find now that both of those “place passions” are strong within me, but I have to admit I have Double Devon Cream in my refrigerator and bake scones most Sunday mornings – and I haven’t made the shift to green or herbal tea like most of my friends and family. I like my good, strong, black English teas.