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Carpe Librum

Reviews and bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.

If I am lost, you will find me in medieval England.

You can also find me - and my books - on my blog.

Historical Novel Society

Currently reading

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Charles Dickens, Gillen D'Arcy Wood
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Louie Giglio
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Lyndal Roper
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Review: England My England Anglophilia Explained by Mark Dery

England My England: Anglophilia Explained (Audible Audio) - Mark Dery, Mark Ashby

In this short but rambling essay on anglophilia, Dery attempts to explain why so many Americans living in this great land of opportunity are obsessed with life upon the windswept rock of England. While he takes a few looks at society at large for examples of people who wish to be fabulously British, the focus is on his own story. Is growing up on English literature what makes us long for this tiny country that somehow remains a world power? Maybe it's separation anxiety, and we're still crying out for our mother country?


The truth, according to the author, is that we are longing for something that doesn't exist. If we are hoping to transport ourselves into Sherlock Holmes' quaint and clever world or Downton Abbey's well-ordered hierarchy, what we need to remember is that it doesn't exist. For most of us, the England we are longing for is complete fantasy, if it ever existed at all. But, like children on Pottermore pretending to attend Hogwarts, we will continue to buy Union Jack emblazoned home décor and drink English Breakfast Tea as we watch BBC America. Anglophilia may just be the expression of our wish for a better life, but don't expect me to give it up!


My only complaint about this quick audiobook was the numerous quotations. I find this sort of citing and quoting difficult to keep track of and listen to in audiobook form, but would have been fine if I were reading in print. No, this essay is not the final answer on why Americans love the idea of England, but it is a sometimes humorous look at this author's thoughts on it.