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Britannia in Brief: The Scoop on All Things British Paperback – May 19, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A witty, irreverent crash course ‘101’ that all Anglophiles will love. Leslie Banker and William Mullins have bridged the great divide between two countries separated by a common language. A bloody good read!”—Anita Naughton, author of Tea and Sympathy

Britannia in Brief is an indispensable guide. Better than Fromer's, shorter than the Encyclopedia Britannica, it is hilarious, clever, and spot-on. This book is perfect for every foreigner who wishes to talk local, and for every local who doesn't get out enough.”—Amanda Foreman, author of The Duchess

About the Author

Leslie Banker is co-author of The Pocket Decorator and The Pocket Renovator both published by Universe. She has written freelance articles for Interior Design magazine, Edible Rhody, and a regular column for Realtor Magazine On-Line.

William Mullins is a financial software developer and has written freelance pieces for salon.com and The Boston Book Review. Before moving to the US he was an assistant editor at Debrett's in London.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Original edition (May 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345509994
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345509994
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #529,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i'm an american who relocated to the UK a year ago. i purchased many books to help mentally prepare me for the culture, and this was BY FAR the best, simply because it covers the most material in an easy-to-understand way. i still refer to it occassionally for refreshers on specific topics. it's become my bible.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Whether you're planning a holiday at Butlins, hoping to impress your new Geordie girlfriend with your knowledge of footie, or simply trying to figure out whether Katie Price and Jordan are the same pointless person, Britannia in Brief is the book for you. Grab a copy of this indispensable primer before your next trip to dear old Blighty (as well as a copy of Hello! magazine and an umbrella), and you'll be sure to avoid any aggro!
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Format: Paperback
Where was this book a few years ago when I made the first of many visits to the UK? Informative and witty, Britannia in Brief is a great read whether you're off to the British Isles tomorrow or just hoping to get there when you have a chance. You probably think you have a handle on some of the Brits' eccentric ways, but are a bit mystified by others. This book will clear it all up, particularly the things you thought you understood but had completely backwards. I can't wait to get back there to start undoing years' worth of faux pas!
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Format: Paperback
This is a great guide for those who want to be in the know on all aspects of British culture. It is funny, insightful, and timely, and the perfect thing for students and professionals studying, working, and traveling abroad. Even though I have spent a lot of time in various parts of Britain, this was an extremely interesting education for me. I am hoping they come back with a book to explain the French...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The problem with these books that attempt to explain the difference between Americans and Brits is that either the author is British and doesn't know what Americans don't know, or the author is American and doesn't really understand Brits. This book isn't too bad in that aspect, but there are some things that the authors get wrong. For instance, they think Americans don't use the names Dale, Darren, Martin or Ashley. Most of the book is geared towards practical information, such as needing a license for your TV, how the NHS works, etc. There is a brief look at British history, some facts about the monarchy, a quick guide to political parties, and a geographical tour. There is a very brief list of British vocabulary which wasn't all that useful. Don't we all already know that they call an elevator a lift, a car hood is a bonnet and the trunk is the boot? If this book had been a kindleunlimited or very inexpensive book I might have given it one more star, but for $14.99 I expected more. Also, at this price I expected no editing errors. A better book suggestion is Watching the English.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not sure that you'll find a whole lot that you don't already know about the British, but it is fun to thumb through it and pick up a tidbit or two. For me, the explanation of cricket was the most helpful.
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Format: Paperback
This book offers a fabulous overview of all that is most pertinent in British culture and history for any and all visitors to that fair isle. Thanks to these witty and observant authors, relations between America and Great Britain may well be improved between the locals with a new level of understanding. If all tourists would read this, the stereotype of the Loud American could be put to rest! This is both fascinating and so much fun - not only did I learn a lot, I laughed aloud while learning. This is the perfect travel read, and an excellent gift to all friends that are Britain bound this summer.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This English husband-New York wife team have written a succinct, amusing explanation of British empire and towns, class system, media with descriptions of newspapers, magazines, and authors, music and sports, politics, cuisine, education, and slang. It is an enjoyable, fast read. I took quite a few notes. Some vulgarities and scandals could have been omitted; otherwise, this is a great, little book.
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