How England Made the English
From Why We Drive on the Left to Why We Don't Talk to Our Neighbours
From the bestselling author of Amo, Amas, Amat and All That, a fascinating English history packed with astonishing facts and wonderful stories
For all their sophistication, Roman roads are responsible for the narrowness of our train seats today. The first Victorian trains were built to the same width as horse-drawn wagons; they, in turn, were designed to fit the ruts left in the road by Roman chariots.
This fascinating and witty book explains how our national characteristics - our sense of humour, our hobbies, our favourite foods and our behaviour with the opposite sex - are all defined by our nation's extraordinary geography, geology, climate and weather.
You will learn how we would be as freezing cold as Siberia without the Gulf Stream; why we drive on the left-hand side of the road; why the Midlands became the home of the British curry. It identifies the materials that make England, too: the faint pink Aberdeen granite of kerbstones; that precise English mix of air temperature, smell and light that hits you the moment you touch down at Heathrow.