Anglophiles ‘R’ Us?

As the dust settles on my approaching 5th anniversary of living in the UK, and I have to deal with the paperwork of applying for permanent residency, I am faced with the reality of trying to understand how I got here. And I think I might have found an answer, in the form of a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta (no, stay with me, really!)

I was, I confess, an Anglophile child. My favorite children’s books all took place in London. I recall the kids of “Ballet Shoes” having to walk to the V&A as something I understood long before I knew what the V&A actually was. I was obsessed with “The Secret Garden” and I had no idea what moors were.

So clearly I was a strange child, especially in Minnesota.

But I now suspect it all came to a head in the eighties when I was a primary school student at a school in Northern Virginia at which we, for some inexplicable reason, did a performance of the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera HMS Pinafore as the school play in which I portrayed the character “Josephine”. I was 10.

If you have any reason to doubt this thesis, and I’m sure you do not, I leave you with this:

If that does not instill a sense of English patriotism in you, I don’t know what more to say.

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6 responses to “Anglophiles ‘R’ Us?

  1. And I should note that the reason this comes up now is that my home-town theatre in Minneapolis (the Guthrie) is putting on the show this summer and I have tickets!

  2. i got here because of Mary Poppins (the books, not the film!)

    there are stranger things 😉

  3. I “blame” my Anglophilia on The Secret Garden. Later, my first two celebrity crushes were Davy Jones of The Monkees and Remington Steele (Pierce Brosnan).

    Then, when I finally did get to visit London as a 20-year-old, I felt so at home in the city that 12 years later, I can’t shake the country from my soul. Much as I’m happy to be out of the Midwest again and back in California, I really truly want to be in the UK.

  4. Gilbert & Sullivan for me, too – I was a cousin in Pinafore when I was 12!

  5. My parents bought me a life subscription to National Geographic when I was 2 years old, and then a set of Childcraft books that the publisher hadn’t bothered editing for the British market so were full of American references and spellings.

  6. Almost all of the books that were either read to me/or I read as a child were English (Paddington Bear, Secret Garden etc.) I remember not really understanding what a Paddington Station was, but it seemed mysterious and wonderful when I was so young 🙂

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