How to be a Brit: The Classic Bestselling Guide

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Penguin UK, Apr 24, 1986 - Humor - 272 pages
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The indispensable manual for everyone who longs to attain True Britishness

George Mikes's perceptive best-seller provides a complete guide to the British Way of Life. Having been born in Hungary, he eventually spent more than forty years in the field, and the fruits of his labour include insights on important topics including the weather, how to be rude and how to panic quietly.

Loved by readers and authors alike, How to Be a Brit contains Mikes's three major works -- How to be an Alien, How to be Inimitable and How to be Decadent. If you're British, you'll love it; if you're a foreigner, you'll appreciate it.

How to plan a town: "Street names should be painted clearly and distinctly on large boards. Then hide these boards carefully."

Queuing: "An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one."

Sex: "Continental people have sex lives: the English have hot water bottles."


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ThomasK - LibraryThing

A masterpiece of self-deprecation, funny, witty and at times hilarious. Even though somewhat dated (the first part 'How to be an alien' was published in 1946), the author appears to go straight to the heart of quintessential Britishness. Read full review

Selected pages


A Warning to Beginners
The Weather
How Not to be Clever
How to Compromise
The National Passion

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About the author (1986)

George Mikes (pronounced 'me-cash'), was born in Hungary 1912. In 1938 he moved to London to become the correspondent for a Hungarian newspaper, and then he never left. A keen observer of the behaviour and misbehaviour of foreigners and natives in Britain, he is frequently cited by later authors including Kate Fox and Jeremy Paxman. He died in London in 1987.