"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.
Last week, we asked the Red Room community to blog about England. If they'd lived in or visited England, we asked for the most vivid memory. If they hadn't, we wanted to know how they came by their most powerful impression of what Shakespeare called a "scepter'd isle" but what to Sinéad O'Connor is "not the mythical land of Madame George and roses/It's the home of police who kill black boys on mopeds"?
Our favorite cryptic, single-sentence post came from member Brandon Kewen Wallace: "A quick entry about my time in England....it was wonderful all except for my breakfast hanging in a bag on my door at 4 oclock in the morning!"
Two posts especially stood out:
Author Victoria Zackheim paints a short, vivid picture of a day in the country. Enjoy "Butterflies Abounding."
"England Blog," the story of five years in England for author J.P. Smith and his wife is really the story of their youth.
They will receive books by Red Room 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. English author Charles Davis's novel Standing at the Crossroads is 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.
You can read all the "memories or impressions of England" blog posts here. I hope you'll find some favorites, leave a comment letting the blogger know, and share it by clicking "Send to a Friend." All of Red Room's past blog topics are listed here. Thanks as always for blogging!
-Huntington W. Sharp, Senior Editor, Red Room