English by Ben Fogle
The Story of How Weather, Wonky Teeth and Marmite Make Us Who We Are
By William Collins
Ben Fogle drives a Land Rover, owns a Labrador, wears a Barbour jacket and Hunter wellies. In his quest to find out more about what it means to be English in a rapidly changing world, Ben takes a revealing look at the quirks, habits and foibles of the English people in his latest exploration of our nation’s character(s). Over the course of a year Ben makes his way through the British seasons to explore what it means to be English, using the weather as a barometer of Englishness. He scrutinises our relationship with the weather through art, literature and music. Beginning in the summer, he takes us through the events that make up the social season, from Wimbledon and Ascot to Glastonbury and the World Cheese Rolling Championships. He tells the fascinating stories of the eccentric aristocracy and their stately homes and visits the Marmite factory and the home of the Mackintosh jacket. Moving through the autumn and into the winter, Ben explores our rich maritime and naval heritage. The journey also includes the Oxford Cambridge boat race, Wimbledon, the Proms, Glyndbourne, Goodwood Festival of Speed, Monty Python, Ale, the full English fry-up, John Betjeman, Royalty and Essex girls as Ben explores what it really means to be ‘English’. Covering history, attitudes to foreigners, sport, stereotypes, language and more, English is filled with revealing stories and anecdotes that provide a fascinating portrait of a nation and its people.