This Was England

There is a common fallacy held by a great many people – that England used to be great, is currently in decline, and will be the sole property of the dogs in the near future. This is, of course, bollocks. What people really mean is their world was better because they were young. Last week I found a book that put this suspicion beyond reasonable doubt.

The back cover describes it as follows:
A pilgrimage through yesterday, through the England that used to be, with its flowers and fields and trees and birds, with its Legends, Stories and Fables, its quaint customs and folk-lore.

I flew through it, and it’s a charming book. If you think I’m in the business of ripping the piss out of Horace and his meandering, nostalgic prose, you’d be wrong. The pertinent detail about this ode to yesteryear is its publication date – 1937.

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4 Responses to This Was England

  1. mieke says:

    You know this behavior is hardly typical of England right? It’s just something old people do, much in the same way we like to claim music in the nineties was better…

  2. Pete says:

    But, but it’s going to the… dogs?

    Mieke is, of course, quite correct: the power of hinsight is the editor and censor of everything bad that happened.

    Of course, when things are going well, we’ve never had it so easy.

  3. mieke says:

    Quite the contrary Mr. Fraser.

    I don’t think they’ve been holding the same polls in the UK but I reckon the results would be fairly similar. For the past seven years or so there’s been this annual poll in the lowlands of Holland where they ask people how happy they are and what they think of the country.

    The vast majority of Dutchies is extremely happy about their personal lives.

    The vast majority of Dutchies also thinks the country is in the worst state it’s ever been in and is just getting worse.

    I am the only one who thinks this is incredibly funny.

  4. Amardeep says:

    It reminds me to a bit of graffiti i saw in Berlin in the stairwell of one of the monuments. It read “There were no good old days”.

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