England, Their England is an affectionately satirical inter-war comic novel first published in 1933. It hit the right spot at the time and became a bestseller, and has endured as a classic of humour, transcending the passage of time. It is particularly famed for its portrayal of a village cricket match.
The plot – if there can be said to be a plot – is set in 1920s England. The book is written as if a travel memoir by a young Scotsman who had been invalided away from the Western Front, “Donald Cameron”, whose father’s will forces him to reside in England. There he writes for a series of London newspapers, before being commissioned by a Welshman to write a book about the English from the view of a foreigner. Taking to the country and provincial cities, Donald spends his time doing research for a book on the English by consorting with journalists and minor poets, attending a country house weekend, serving as private secretary to a Member of Parliament, attending the League of Nations, and playing village cricket.
A Tremendous Innings
Ask most readers if they have heard of A. G. Macdonell and you will usually get a blank look, though occasionally you get the response: ‘Oh yes, I’ve heard of England, Their England.’ If you...Read more