4 Cassettes, Abridged.
Read by Jeremy Paxman.
At one time the English had a strong sense of national identity based on empire, love of tea and the hot-water bottle instead of sex. Today, we don't seem so sure . . .
So what are the defining features of Englishness? To answer this question, Jeremy Paxman looks for clues in the English language, literature and lukewarm religion. He explores attitudes to women, intellectuals, the French, the countryside and the weather. Bringing together insights from novelists, historians, gentlemen farmers, and a banker with an enthusiasm for the "English vice" of flagellation, he traces the invention of Englishness to its current crisis and concludes that for all their characteristic gloom, the English may have developed a form of nationalism for the twenty-first century.