Julian Barnes

Potential purchasers of Quality Leisure in twenty-five countries had been asked to list six characteristics, virtues or quintessences which the word England suggested to them…Citizens of the world told in an unprejudiced way what in their view the fifty Quintessences of Englishness were:

1. Royal Family
2. Big Ben/Houses of Parliament
3. Manchester United
4. Class System
5. Pubs
6. A robin in the snow
7. Robin Hood and his merrie men
8. Cricket
9. White cliffs of Dover
10. Imperialism
11. Union Jack
12. Snobbery
13. God save the King/Queen
14. BBC
15. West End
16. Times Newspaper
17. Shakespeare
18. Thatched cottages
19. Cup of tea/Devonshire Cream Tea
20. Stonehenge
21. Phlegm/Stiff upper lip
22. Shopping
23. Marmalade
24. Beefeater/Tower of London
25. London Taxis
26. Bowler hat
27. TV Classic serials
28. Oxford/Cambridge
29. Harrods
30. Double-decker buses/red buses
31. Hypocrisy
32. Gardening
33. Perfidy/Untrustworthiness
34. Half-timbering
35. Homosexuality
36. Alice in Wonderland
37. Winston Churchill
38. Marks & Spencer
39. Battle of Britain
40. Francis Drake
41. Trooping the colour
42. Whingeing
43. Queen Victoria
44. Breakfast
45. Beer/Warm beer
46. Emotional frigidity
47. Wembley stadium
48. Flagellation/Public schools
49. Not washing/Bad underwear
50. Magna Carta

Julian Barnes extract from England, England