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BRITS WEEK IN REVIEW – humour, covert & overt actions, poets, painters, revolutionary captains, mothers & older men

HUMOUR We quoted a funny excerpt from Jerome K. Jerome, but the subject of British humour is obviously beyond us. A glance at Wiki shows that a description of late 20th century British humour requires its division into 13 large themes supported by more than 90 radio and television shows and cartoons.

A sense of humour seems to have gone missing from 10 Downing Street, but Elizabeth I was very fond of comedians, and in 1583 ordered that twelve of them should be “sworn the Queen's servants, and be arrayed in her livery”, to make her laugh.

COVERT & OVERT ACTIONS Elizabeth and the English people faced the overt assaults of the Spanish bravely and ingeniously, and defeated the Armada at Gravelines on 8 August 1588. We described the battle, then listed the times foreign powers have tried to invade Britain. It’s a surprisingly high number. Covert assaults on freedom are more difficult to defeat.

17th century POETS SPEAKING TODAY George Herbert and Anne Finch appear in new files. (See Artists) To hear Herbert being quoted at length in a bar in Brooklyn by a beautiful young Hispanic woman was the story that first caught our eye. We put up new files on both poets.

LOVE OF ANIMALS is a British theme. We created a new file on George Stubbs who was one of the first to paint animals with love and respect.

REVOLUTIONARY CAPTAINS Brits in America began their revolution when the government in London repeatedly squashed their rights and freedoms “as trueborn Englishmen” to govern themselves. John Paul Jones, a revolutionary captain born in Britain, founded the American Navy and brought the struggle to Britain's coastal waters. His ship, the Bonhomme Richard, is being raised from the North Sea.

MOTHERS & OLDER MEN In the 19th century Mary Sumner understood that mothers needed support and recognition for their work raising children, which is as important as the work done by men. From very small beginnings she created a Mother’s Union that now helps mothers worldwide. The older men we mentioned made Magna Carta possible and appear in the file called The Knight.

May your week be good.

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