england

#england

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Palmerston Exchanges Compliments With A Frenchman
"If I were not a Frenchman," Lord Palmerston was once gallantly told, "I should wish to be an Englishman." "If I were not an Englishman I should wish," he obligingly replied, "to be an Englishman."
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Amy Lowell: Stop the War
Amy Lowell was visiting London in 1914 when World War I broke out. Late for an appointment, hampered by crowds in the streets, angry at the police for their indifference to her plight, she finally returned to her hotel in a state of heightened pique. "Don't they know I'm Amy Lowell?" she cried. "And it was this month that my book of poems was coming out here! What attention will it get with this going on! What has happened to England? Why doesn't she simply stop the war?"
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What Impressed King Carlos I About England
When Portugal's King Carlos I was visiting England one year, King Edward VII asked which aspects of the country had impressed him the most. "The roast beef," Carlos replied. "Is that all?" Edward asked with understandable dismay. "Well," Carlos continued after a moment's pause, "the boiled beef is quite good too." 
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Christopher Hitchens: Advice to Tourists
"When I worked at the old New Statesman magazine in London," Christopher Hitchens once recalled, "we had an annual competition for advice to tourists visiting the city for the first time." Among the winners? "Try the famous echo in the British Museum Reading Room." ["We also advised people that prostitutes could be easily recognized by their habit of rattling collection tins, that it was considered ill-mannered not to shake hands with all other passengers before taking your seat on the London subway, and that readers doing the Times crossword on trains were always glad if you offered to help."]
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The Origin Of The Term "Bluestocking"
One day in the late 1740s, the botanist Benjamin Stillingfleet was invited by Elizabeth Vesey to join her fashionable salon in Bath. When he declined on the grounds that he had no suitable clothes, she assured him that he need not concern himself with his attire. Though his arrival in blue worsted stockings caused something of a stir, Stillingfleet became a regular, and the salon acquired a new name that embodied its informal quality and emphasis on conversation rather than fashion: the "Blue Stockings Society." Thus the term "bluestocking" to refer to a fashionable society lady. [As Wikipedia notes: The name "Blue Stocking Society" and its origins are highly disputed among historians.There are scattered early references to bluestockings including in ...
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Francis Galton's European Belt Of Ugly Women
Though English scientist Sir Francis Galton pioneered the use of fingerprints for human identification, not all of his work was equally practical. In 1850, Galton traveled to southwest Africa, where he devoted his time to the production of an analytical paper on "the measurement of black African ladies' bottoms."  He also published studies on the length of rope required to hang a man without decapitating him and on the statistical efficacy of prayer, which concluded that it did not work. His greatest achievement, however, was yet to come:  Galton produced a map of the "European Belt of Ugly Women," which started in Germany and ended right at home, in England.  Galton also made a beauty map of Britain and concluded ...
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Eleanor Of Aquitaine - By The Wrath Of God
At age 15, Eleanor of Aquitaine married Louis VII, King of France. Her subsequent petition for divorce from Louis was based on the claim that they were too closely related for the marriage to have been legal in the eyes of God (and the church). In 1154, just two years after the marriage was annulled, Eleanor married Henry II of England. "I am Queen of England," she drily remarked, "by the wrath of God." [At age 19, she knelt in the cathedral of Vezelay (before the celebrated Abbe Bernard of Clairvaux) and offered him thousands of her vassals for the Second Crusade. Dressed like an Amazon, Eleanor galloped through the crowds on a white horse, urging them to join the ...
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When Whistler Resigned from the Royal Society of British Artists
In 1888, having alienated most of its members with his autocratic manner, James McNeill Whistler was obliged to resign from his post as president of the Royal Society of British Artists. "It is very simple," he explained. "The artists retired; the British remained."
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When Mike Myers Discovered The Sex Pistols
In the summer of 1977, the year punk rock broke in the UK, 14-year-old Mike Myers visited some cousins who lived north of London. One night, they took him to a punk club, got him drunk, and gave him a copy of the Sex Pistols single "God Save the Queen." "I was hooked," Myers later recalled. "It was raw, quirky, fun, and funny. The only problem was that my dad [Eric], a staunch monarchist, would never let a record featuring the lyrics 'God save the Queen, she ain't no human being' into his proper English house. I ended up putting the Sex Pistols single into a Jimi Hendrix sleeve. Little did I know, my father was a giant Hendrix ...
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UK Exam Board Okays A Terrible Textbook
Daily Telegraph scribe Graeme Paton: "A new science textbook for schools claims that polar bears eat penguins, even though they live in separate hemispheres. The book, authorized by one of England's three exam boards, contains other errors, including that African elephants get drunk on rotten fruit, a theory dismissed by academics. ... Peter Cotgreave, the chairman of the Campaign for Science and Engineering, a pressure group lobbying to improve science standards, said: 'It is inevitable that mistakes are going to creep in, but to say that polar bears and penguins live together is astonishing. It reflects a loss of respect for science.'" * The book's publisher later corrected the polar bear/penguin claim.