So, not a new problem then, not something caused by the alienation of a neo-liberal economy or whatever the current trope is:
The English, who are now among the worst binge-drinkers in Europe, were also renowned as drunks in the Middle Ages.
"A surviving 12th-century Latin manuscript refers disapprovingly to \’Potatrix Anglia\’ – \’England the drunken\’," said Prof Bartlett, who is presenting the series Inside the Medieval Mind on BBC4, starting next Thursday.
This might be the first recorded case: but actually I\’m really rather doubtful about that:
He will reveal the opening of the North-South divide, with the first recorded case – in 1120 – of a southerner complaining that he is unable to understand the speech of a northerner.
I think it would be quite common for someone to make such a complaint in 9th century England, what with the northerners speaking Norse and the southerners Anglo Saxon.