“ENGLAND AND AMERICA ARE TWO COUNTRIES SEPARATED BY THE SAME LANGUAGE” –George Bernard Shaw.
Indeed, any visitor from one country to the other knows how different they truly are. Still, no one who loves reading literature in English can feel neutral towards the land where it was born and continues to flourish, often in the hands of authors with roots far from England itself.
This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.
(From Richard II, Act 2)
If you've lived in or visited England, please share your most vivid memory in your blog this week. If you haven't visited, how did you come by your most powerful impression of Shakespeare's "scepter'd isle"? Red Room is an international community, and we're especially eager to hear from bloggers from Ireland, India, Australia, and other places with a complex connection to England. Please tag your post "England blog."
A few bloggers will receive books by English authors. A Lesson in Secrets is the newest installation in Jacqueline Winspear's series of between-the-wars mysteries starring detective Maisie Dobbs. "As the storm clouds of World War II gather on the horizon, this pivotal chapter in the life of Maisie Dobbs foreshadows new challenges and powerful enemies facing the psychologist and investigator—and will engage new readers and loyal fans of this "outstanding" series (Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review)."
From a novel very much set in an England of the past we go to a novel very much set in a part of the world still dealing with having been part of the British Empire. Standing at the Crossroads is English author Charles Davis's novel set in war-torn Sudan. As the two protagonists—a white woman and a black man united by their love of learning—are pursued across the mountains, they discover an unlikely love that is of itself their best riposte to the fanatics who want to kill them.
So post a blog entry today about Red Room's topic of the week
"memories or impressions of England"
For help on how to blog, please see the directions here. We'll choose one of these blog posts to be featured on Red Room's homepage next week. Post your entry by Friday at 10:30 a.m. PST (GMT-08:00) for consideration, and be sure to tag it with the keyword term England blog in the Blog Keyword Tags field so we can find it. (Please don't forget the exact tag. For more information about tags, click here.)
Don't miss last week's "most interesting ancestor" blog posts, by the way. Stories ranged from a father and son bonding over an ancestor who fought in the wars for Italian unification to a visit to two 19th century cemeteries that tell a story of slavery.
Finally, we'll announce the results of last week's Writing Retreat in the Redwoods contest very soon! We were overwhelmed and grateful for the number of entrants, and look forward to hearing how the winner used his or her week to make great progress on his or her writing.
Thanks as always for blogging!
-Huntington W. Sharp, Senior Editor, Red Room