About the Book
When I first started writing about the United Kingdom, a book was the last thing in my plans. AS soon as I moved to the USA, I was asked to give advice to various people who were planning some sort of visit or move to the UK. After this happened a few times, I realized I should write things down rather than re-invent the wheel every time. My friend Carla Young then moved to England about ten years ago and I wrote as much as I could think of to help her settle in quickly. When I handed her about 40 pages, she said, "Toni, this is a book"...... .
My intention with the book is to prepare Americans for life in the United Kingdom. I'm not giving advice on which tourist sites to visit or where to stay when you get there, but what the UK will actually be like. We all know that Americans say elevator while the Brits say lift , and so on, but it's the more subtle differences that can really throw you. Like the fact that when the Brits use the word anxious they mean "concerned" and would never say they were anxious to meet someone if they were looking forward to doing so. Most Americans complain about the lousy showers in the UK, and since many British showers are, in fact, fairly inadequate, I feel it my duty to warn readers in advance. Why do you think so many Brits like their baths?
Rules Britannia is different from a lot of books about the UK because I'm not giving my opinion about the UK, or about how the UK and US compare. My aim is to tell readers what to expect when they get there - good or bad. Although I cover some of the do's and don'ts of British life, this is not an etiquette guide. In explaining these "rules" I am telling you about well-established practices, such as the order of things at weddings (which are a little different from American weddings), how British schools are run and what to expect when invited to someone's house for dinner.
I make no comment on any social implications- there are far too many books doing that already. Again, my intention is to take some of the stress out of what can be an already stressful situation. Vacationing in another country is one thing, but if you're there for any longer, and are expected to actually live among the natives, then this book will soon become invaluable.