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Old 10-12-2016, 10:01 AM   #1
Junior Master Dwellar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Buckinghamshire UK
Posts: 4,059
The English in 1944: patriotic, shy and fixated with weather

THE average Englishman may appear to be rude, unfriendly and a little peculiar, but not to worry: they are just “fundamentally shy”.

Or, at least, that is what the visiting American soldiers of the Second World War were told, as part of a charm offensive by the British Council.
A pamphlet, written in 1944 and due to be republished by the Imperial War Museum, tells how American newcomers were inducted into the weird and wonderful ways of the English.
It includes advice on overcoming the natives’ reserve, their inner romantic poet and even an explanation of why they are so obsessed with the weather.

Written by Thomas Burke, it notes: “The English have been called mad, hypocritical, impossible, ridiculous, cunning, simple and many other terms that, taken together, cancel each other out.”
Many traits can be explained by overseas influences, regional differences and variety of landscape. “Sometimes in one small corner the weather changes three or four times a day,” it notes.
“That is why English people talk so much about the weather.”

The author also describes the concern when an Englishman “turns on his frigidity and stiffness”. “That reserve is surface only,” it states. “It is a covering assumed by the Englishman to conceal the fact he is fundamentally shy. Yes – shy.” The English and Their Country: For Overseas Forces will be published by the museum from Oct 20.
Daily Telegraph

I'm looking forward to the publishing of this pamphlet as I like little snapshots of history.
I already have a reprint of 'Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain 1942' which covers some of the same ground although it was published by the War Dept., Washington D.C.
This edition was published in 2004 and seems to have been well received on both sides of the Atlantic if the reviews are anything to go by. and

A quote from the back cover...

The British don't know how to make a good cup of coffee.
You don't know how to make a good cup of tea. It's an even swap.
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