On Englishness


But there is one characteristic that at least distinguishes the English from equally admirable races. We pride ourselves on not boasting about being English. When G.K. Chesterton wrote of “the people of England that never have spoken yet”, he did not mean to suggest that we had nothing to say for ourselves – merely that while other nationalities “talked of freedom, while England talked of ale”. We chose that subject because, being free, we did not need to assert the importance of liberty and because we would have been embarrassed to proclaim our love of what we knew to be our birthright.

5 thoughts on “On Englishness”

  1. Brilliant – the whole piece is a boast about not boasting.
    Now that’s English if you like.
    ‘denied to other races’, ‘flamboyant ways’, ‘less secure nationalities’ who is he trying to kid?

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