WWII Guide to the 'Frigid' English Explains the Country's Ways to Americans

By Gary Cutlack on at

The Imperial War Museum is set to republish a WWII-era guide to the English, with lovely pamphlet The English and Their Country yours for just £6.99.

The guide was very seriously assembled in order to give troops from the US a warning about what to expect of the folk of the day, and not a whole amount appears to have changed.

"In English blood run the strains of many races," it says, which won't make it a popular publication with 2016's new breed of foreigner-fearing Englishman. Less controversially, it outlines the mannerisms of the English with: "The most frequent criticism of the Englishman made by men of many different countries, turns on his frigidity and stiffness... But that reserve is surface only. It is a covering assumed by the Englishman to conceal the fact that he is fundamentally shy. Yes -- shy."

And that's not the only bombshell dropped. The northerners are different from the southerners it warns incomers, explaining: "The people of the English North are blunt of speech and manner. They say what they mean, even if it offends, and they act without regard to the more fastidious courtesies. They call it honesty. The South calls it uncouth. The North retorts by calling the manners of the South so much fuss and nonsense." [Imperial War Museum via Shortlist]

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