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How to be English by David Boyle

How to be English

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English culture is confused, muddled and often borrowed. The purpose of this book is to give the reader a complete grounding in the idiosyncrasies of the English and to pin down the absurdities and warmth of Englishness at its best. At once fond and irreverent, laudatory and curious, How to Be English might just teach us how to be English once again.

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How to be English by David Boyle

Featured in this book are such established English cultural behemoths as the Beatles, Big Ben and the Last Night of the Proms alongside less celebrated quirks such as meat pies and the working man's haven, the allotment. Here we celebrate the bell-ringers and Morris dancers, bowler hats ('the symbol of respectable Englishness') and cardigans ('symbol of staid middle-class solidarity'). We examine the brutality of Punch and Judy and our historic love of fairies, once so much a part of the English psyche that they were described as 'the British religion'.

About the Author

David Boyle

David Boyle, author of ‘Funny Money’ (Jan 1999) is a writer and journalist specializing in economics, cities, business and the environment.

He has been pioneering the idea of parallel currencies, introducing over 20 time banks to the UK (using time as a kind of money,) after the publication of his last book, ‘Funny Money’ : In Search of Alternative Cash. He has written about the future of money all over the world and is the author of the Financial Times management report Virtual Currencies (FT 1999) and the recent pamphlet Why London Needs its own Currency (New Economics Foundation, 2000).

As a Senior Associate at the New Economics Foundation, he has been at the forefront of new thinking in economics, volunteering and the environment – and has been advising the government on the future of volunteering.

He is former editor of New Economics, Town & Country Planning magazine, Liberal Democrat News and a range of other magazines, and his book on the future of cities (Building Futures) was published by WH Allen in 1989. He is also a member of the national policy committee of the Liberal Democrats, and used to write speeches for opinion formers such as Paddy Ashdown and Anita Roddick.

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Book Info

Publication date

16th July 2015


David Boyle

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Square Peg an imprint of Vintage Publishing


304 pages


The Real World
eBook Favourites

Social & cultural history



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