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England My England: Anglophilia Explained | [Mark Dery]

England My England: Anglophilia Explained

Downton Abbey has brought out the Anglophile in American fans of the hit TV series. But Anglophilia has a long history in America. Why are some native-born residents of our Shining City Upon a Hill, where All Men Are Created Equal, seduced by the fluting tones of manor-born privilege? At last, Anglophilia explained - in American, thank you.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why are many supposedly egalitarian Americans fascinated by the aristocratic privilege of Britain as displayed by Downton Abbey and the royal family? In this illuminating essay, cultural critic Mark Dery explores the attractions that Britain's literature, music, and style present for Americans. From a childhood fascination with the Wonder Books to an adolescent fixation on Jethro Tull and adulthood admiration for Christopher Hitchens, Dery’s take is highly personal, yet also displays larger societal insight. By turns savage and sympathetic, his prose is also wryly funny. Performer Mark Ashby does a good job capturing Dery's tone, and alternating between the British and American accents of the text.

Publisher's Summary

Downton Abbey has brought out the Anglophile in American fans of the hit TV series. But Anglophilia has a long history in America. Why are some native-born residents of our Shining City Upon a Hill, where All Men Are Created Equal, seduced by the fluting tones of manor-born privilege? At last, Anglophilia explained - in American, thank you.

©2013 Mark Dery (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

2.3 (335 )
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2.7 (286 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 02-20-14
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 02-20-14 Member Since 2010

    Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.

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    "Failure to achieve objective."

    There were enough positive Amazon reviews to overcome my skepticism from the negative reviews, and after all, it was free and less than an hour long. How much of a gamble could it be? More than you'd think.

    I found this essay incoherently scattered, heavily dependent on comments from other authors, but failing to state a distinct thesis to build an argument on. The result was a failure to explain American Anglophilia, and what came across to me a general contempt of American fans of Masterpiece and BBC America. Not the fun I had hoped it would be.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily 02-23-14
    Emily 02-23-14
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    "Qualifies as my most irritating Audible purchase"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I guess people who think Anglophiles are snobbish, social climbing jerks might enjoy this book. Thankfully it was only 48 minutes long so I listened to the end. Certainly not what I expected.


    Any additional comments?

    If you love being an Anglophile then you can give this title a miss.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie SANTAQUIN, UT, United States 03-14-14
    Laurie SANTAQUIN, UT, United States 03-14-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Not worth it, and it was free!"
    What would have made England My England better?

    Maybe addressing reasons Americans find England and royalty interesting rather than just ramble about a Wonder Book the author read as a youth. Also, it became obvious the author disdains anyone who does have an interest in England and its history. I believe the author sought to impress his readership with his vocabulary and his "better than you" attitude rather than provide anything positive.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Mark Dery again?

    No way! He comes across as a pompous academic. I can't imagine him producing anything enlightening or entertaining after this short disaster.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Given the material, I think the narrator did about as well as possible.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Anger, definitely! We thought we would hear a lighthearted look as what makes Americans love the royals and England but it was just a slam to both England and to those who love it.


    Any additional comments?

    The book started out with a little bit of humor and we actually laughed out loud but the book steadily became irritating. We didn't finish it because it just wasn't worth putting up with the author's attitude. If we could give zero stars, that would have been the score.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Bellevue, WA, United States 03-13-14
    Elizabeth Bellevue, WA, United States 03-13-14 Member Since 2007

    A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!

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    "Not so much..."

    Well that was a ho-hum 38 minutes of my life. The promise of our love of Downton Abbey explored just didn't happen and in the end, it was a lot of rambling about nothing. Watch Downton, love the Queen and ignore the book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lys 02-24-14
    Lys 02-24-14 Member Since 2013

    lys1022

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    "What was this? I couldn't tell."
    What would have made England My England better?

    The author of this piece did not make it clear what the work is supposed to be. Was it a parody of scholastic works? If so, it missed the mark completely. Was it actually supposed to be an analysis of American-based Anglophilia? If so, it missed the mark completely. Quite frankly, it was a thinly-veiled excuse to insult anyone that doesn't fit the author's narrow view of a "proper" Anglophile.


    What could Mark Dery have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Mr. Dery could have made it better by simply getting off his high horse and actually addressing the subject. This would have preferably been done without continually insulting people who enjoy shows like Downton Abbey, or people who enjoy Renaissance Festivals, or people who enjoy the pomp and ceremony of events like royal weddings, or any number of other sub-groups of Americans. Oh, and actually including a clearly stated thesis and supporting it would be nice too.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Mark Ashby?

    Mr. Ashby did the best job that he could with such drivel.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from England My England?

    If I were the editor, it would not have made it to publication at all.


    Any additional comments?

    I was hoping that this would be a serious look at the phenomena of Anglophilia in the United States. I think that there is a lot to address on that subject, and it would be a fascinating study of how the history of the United States and its varying relationships with the United Kingdom have come influenced the modern American mind to create this pervasive fascination with both the reality and the perceived reality of the U.K.

    Unfortunately, all that this ended up being was a rather incoherent and unorganized ramble through one man's memories of childhood punctuated with repeated barbs aimed at entire cross-sections of the population ranging from the far Right to the far Left. The end result being a wasted hour and the unsubstantiated inflation of ego for the author.

    This was definitely an opportunity that was wasted by the author. It is a shame.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Knoxville, TN, United States 02-17-14
    Linda Knoxville, TN, United States 02-17-14
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    "Was there a point to this"

    I am very glad this was free. I am not even sure I would have been happy paying 0.99. I love England. I am what they call an America Anglophile. To me this book / short lecture sounded awesome. In reality. What was the point of this whole thing, I could not find one any where in it. It was just random person talking about England and how he saw people viewing England. No Science behind it, not studies, no nothing that I could tell. Just random opinion and not one that really led to any conclusions. It listens like a Jr High student writing a short essay for a class, and I may be a little generous in putting them in Jr. High

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meriel D. Mellor 04-16-14 Member Since 2005
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    "Yuck"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    It is had to imagine anyone who would enjoy it


    What didn’t you like about Mark Ashby’s performance?

    He sounded harsh and condescending


    What character would you cut from England My England?

    The author


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Itamar 03-21-14
    Itamar 03-21-14
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    "Listened for 10 minutes"

    After 10 minutes I couldn't understand what the hell was this thing about and deleted it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. J. Carlile 04-04-14
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    "Should have looked at the reviews before I bought"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I don't think anyone would find it more enjoyable, unless it's the specific 55-year-old that grew up on the Wonder Books and has since been disillusioned.


    What could Mark Dery have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Many more things. First, this is clearly an essay. It should be structured like an essay, not floating about gathering stray thoughts. This feels like a well-researched diary entry. He doesn't clearly state his intentions for the essay, just overall distain, yet claims to be an Anglophile. I thought I would learn something from this essay. I didn't.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator spoke very fast. Also, every once in a while, he would slip into a faux English accent that was more distracting than helpful.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from England My England?

    The whole thing. It wasn't worth reading.


    Any additional comments?

    Just a horrid essay. Don't waste your time. I wish I could get my money back, even though it was free. I'm deleting it from my library instantly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    monkeypandapants Massachusetts 03-19-14
    monkeypandapants Massachusetts 03-19-14
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    "Hmmm..."

    Overall, I found the information in the book interesting. I just found that the information didn't come up in the most fascinating way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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