Anglophilia

Guest Post by RD! Also – I agree with every word she says. Enjoy.

 

No, that’s not an un-released Def Leppard song.  It means, literally, “a strong admiration or enthusiasm for England, its people, and things English.”

I know it all too well, because — I suffer from Anglophilia. Don’t worry, it’s not catching.

You see, ever since I was a little girl in rural Pennsylvania (cue banjo/fiddle music) I have had a fascination with all things British–the culture, the history, the castles, the gardens, the literature, the <sigh> accents.

I loved The Little Princess and thought it was the height of sophistication to go to a school where they would let you ride horses.  What? Sign me up! I dreamed of having my own Secret Garden walled-up on a lush, rolling estate, where little birds would follow me around and sing to me.  Clearly, I was an only child with a big imagination and a lot of time on my hands.

My Dad’s side of the family originally came from England/Wales, but had left so long ago (before 1700) that no one knew for sure the circumstances of their immigration.  A little light research on various genealogy websites suggested they were “Quakers” and came over with William Penn, but I have yet to  corroborate that fact.  They left England voluntarily?  Who does that?

In college, I even MAJORED in English (talk about dedication), where I developed a deeper love of English writers, from John Donne to Jane Austen.

But my favorite “Anglo” thing to “phile” — British men.  With their tweeds and “cardies” and pasty, translucent, ne’er see-the-sun skin. Their stiff-upper-lip aloofness-turned-fiery passion (see Colin Firth in Bridget Jones’ Diary and Pride and Prejudice) or off-hand, stammering charm (see Hugh Grant in Notting Hill). Ah, dreamy.  Did I mention the accents?

I know what you’re thinking–if you love England (and English men) so much, why don’t you move there?

The sad truth is – I’ve never been to England.  And I’ve only met a handful of real-live Englishmen.

So, my “love” of said country is all based on literature, TV (WHEN IS DOWNTON ABBEY COMING BACK ON?!?!) travel books and movies.  I sometimes wonder if, when I finally get to England, as I plan on doing before my 40th birthday, it will measure up to my wildly over-the-top fantasies about it.

That’s a lot of pressure for a country the size of Alabama….

I’m not too worried, though.  I mean, any place that can produce Jane Austen, High Tea, Stonehenge AND Colin Firth must be pretty awesome.  Until I get there to see for myself, I’ll “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. seahorsefeet
    Jul 08, 2012 @ 17:11:22

    I wish England were like this, really, I do. But, truthfully, England is just like a small America. Plus, most men are hairier and grumpier than Colin Firth and Hugh Grant; and I live near Stonehenge, and it’s great the first couple of times, but then you realise it’s just a bunch of stones… A bunch of stones with some epically mysterious history, granted, but that’s… well… history, I guess.

    I am, however, with you on the castles front :) But Scotland has more of those.

    If I were you, I’d keep watching the British telly, though, it’s far more romantic.

    Yet, if you do chose to come to England, I will do my best to prepare it for you: I could start a revolution that brings England back to what the English are meant to be. I’d like that :)

    I’m rambling… But I’ll leave you with an image of the small English village I live in:
    There’s a fantastic old Rectory two doors down (there’s a church in between us), full of winding passages and staircases that don’t really lead anywhere, and the man who lives there just died out of the blue.
    There’s a man who lives in a mobile home up by the train track, who tried to shoot me with his shotgun for tresspassing, and walks around the village pretending he’s a vicar, he also drives down the road beeping his horn for people to get out of the way.
    A woman lives here named Dianna Ross, and she has great big guard dogs.
    We have a grumpy farmer across the road who only ever does farm things at night or at the weekend.
    Two old men wander up and down the road every day shouting because they’re too deaf to talk at normal volume.
    The general population is over 70.
    And at the top of the road, hidden behind a huge great avenue of trees and a railway bridge, is Porton Down (you should look it up, but it scares me that it’s so close).

    So maybe, actually, England isn’t as far away from your preconception as I originally thought…

    I loved this post, by the way. I really did :)

    (All of this was said with an English accent, by the way. Although, seeing as I’m a girl, I can’t imagine it would be the same…)

    Reply

  2. wifemothereventplanner
    Jul 08, 2012 @ 19:20:15

    and I love your response to this post! Especially because I read it in what I imagine to be your lyrical accent!

    Reply

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