Letters from England

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A&C Black, Sep 22, 2004 - Literary Collections - 192 pages
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Karel Capek's 'Letters from England' have established themselves as masterpieces of observation. The letters and drawings are humorous, insightful and imbued by a profound humanity. They convey a bemused admiration for England and the English. First published in the nineteen twenties in Lidovc Noviny, the Czechoslovak national newspaper, Capek's Letters from England quickly established themselves as masterpieces of observation, and classics of modern Czech prose. The letters described Europe's oldest democracy for the benefit of the citizens of Europe's newest, and Capek was acutely aware of the deep-down affinity between his countrymen and the English. The same understated humour, the same unflappability, the same quiet search for peace, home and comfort, the same love of nature and animals, served to unite the two people, both then and now. Shortly after Letters from England appeared, Czechoslovakia was betrayed by Britain at Munich, and handed over to Hitler. Capek died shortly afterwards of a broken heart. The book was promptly banned by the Nazis, and published by the exile press, with an English translation by Paul Selver, in London. It was again published in Czechoslovakia in 1946, but, after a brief period, was banned again by the communists. This is a completely new English translation. Letters from England, timely when it first appeared, is yet more timely today, when the English need to be reminded of qualities that once were a source of pride to themselves and admiration to others.
 

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Contents

Foreword by Roger Scruton
1
TVanstators note
14
The English Park
28
At the Natural History Museum
45
The Biggest Samples Fair
61
Cambridge and Oxford
79
The Lake District 1 1 1
112
Letters about Ireland
120
Ports
127
Our Pilgrim Notices the People
135
Escape
144
You English for the Daily Herald
150
Explanatory Notes
165
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Karel Capek was a Czech novelist and playwright of international and enduring fame. Among his other works are The Life of Insects, Hordubal, and Nine Fairy Tales. Geoffrey Newsome is the author of the Czech textbook Correct Those Mistakes.

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