England and the English from an American Point of View

By Price Collier | Go to book overview

IX
SOCIETY

IT is with some misgivings that I put the word "Society" as the heading for a chapter. The word has been so misused, and is so often supposed to apply only to that small knot of people who are the mere dregs of opulent idleness that one is inclined to apologize for its serious use. It is not for me to place the blame in any one quarter, upon the news and sensationhungry press, upon the notoriety-loving wives, or upon the advertising husbands, but the trouble lies somewhere there. That the very word "Society" should call up visions of monkeys, madcaps, and mountebanks, reckless expenditure, gilded display -- a company of men and women, in short, engaged in the fatuous activity of trying to mould pleasure out of idleness, a task as hopeless as to build an enduring monument out of mush -- shows at once how false must be the standards which have lent this meaning to the word.

-366-

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England and the English from an American Point of View
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • I - First Impressions 1
  • II - Who Are the English? 37
  • III - The Land of Compromise 78
  • IV - English Home Life 133
  • V - Are the English Dull? 176
  • VI - Sport 230
  • VII - Ireland 274
  • VIII - An English Country Town 314
  • IX - Society 366
  • X - Conclusion 412
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