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.”