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Distinctions of English Gentry and the Common British Agrarian

Reader comment on item: Living Freely in England a Century Ago

Submitted by M. Tovey (United States), Jul 25, 2011 at 11:51

While one can suppose that the description, however viewed for its insight, was one of retrospect and not necessarily of actual observances of a life so lived, it gives a decidedly rose-colored view of a time and a place too few in England really enjoyed. As is pointed out by others who have commented, not all of the circumstances were considered and much of the the context was lost by its omission by Mr Taylor.

Being only a generation away from the era of the 'Englishman' so described, the father of my father immigrated to this country quite some time before 1914 for a variety of reasons, only one of which came close to the glowing affirmation of British citizenry; for he was of the agrarian sort, and not the gentry. He was one of a large family and descended from a long line of large families, the situation eventually calling for him to seek his fortune 'across the pond.' Having done so, and with the sponsorship required by American State department (Ellis Island) at the time for those seeking a new life here, he worked his way into a position of responsibility and civic activity that would have him rub shoulders with a president and others of similar political acumen, something he would never have been able to do in England.

All of this was accomplished before 1914: and the wonder is; that if that sensible law abiding Englishman had full access to the circumstances so described, he might not have made the trip. Instead, by parole evidence (I never got to know him), life over here was a complete rewrite of his potential that would never have been accomplished remaining in the Empire. It is remembered here that England was in transition away from its Victorian influences, the very influences that had maintained the Empire intact before the progressive revisionism that began to plague England took it down with its ever increasing hold. The father of my father made the better choice for his future here in America than trying to live to the British image portrayed by Mr Taylor; and I am glad he did.


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Reader comments (18) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
really? [42 words]mikeAug 28, 2011 11:05188920
1What is the point ...? [265 words]Amin RiazAug 3, 2011 21:18188002
Good Question - What is the Point [401 words]M. ToveyAug 9, 2011 15:46188002
A.J.P. Taylor is no longer reading comments on his work [31 words]PaulAug 22, 2011 20:52188002
Confused [8 words]Amin RiazAug 23, 2011 22:46188002
... India? [63 words]SamAug 3, 2011 05:09187979
drivers license [265 words]mythJul 31, 2011 07:46187880
1Signs of the Times ? [239 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Jules PostenJul 28, 2011 09:58187794
Response to Muslim Laws and Rules Sign Postings [238 words]Jules PostenJul 29, 2011 04:32187794
2Hello America: London Sends Its Regards [726 words]M. ToveyAug 1, 2011 12:11187794
Sad how hatred can cultivate intolerance and ignorance [217 words]AnonymousAug 5, 2011 05:40187794
Jihad is not over, not let race onercome war for humanity [1261 words]Ravi Ranjan Singh Bharat PanthiAug 14, 2011 21:57187794
Humanity Will Fail If It Fails to Love [848 words]M. ToveyAug 16, 2011 12:07187794
Distinctions of English Gentry and the Common British Agrarian [358 words]M. ToveyJul 25, 2011 11:51187687
america [110 words]concernedJul 26, 2011 08:58187687
3The cost of empire [68 words]RichardJul 21, 2011 09:50187599
2the other side of the coin [140 words]concernedJul 21, 2011 03:52187594
women and politics [55 words]rick oneilJul 23, 2011 17:59187594

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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