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I Segreti di Londra – Corrado Augias

Thanks to Man of Roma, who quoted a section from Italian journalist, writer and TV presenter Corrado Augias‘ book describing the English, I bought a copy of Augias’ book ‘I Segreti di Londra’ yesterday.

While I’ve yet to really dig in to this book; I’ve made it to page 26 so far; what I’ve read has been fascinating, primarily because the work describes certain places in London, and the English, as seen through the eyes of the author.

It is very interesting to see how my fellow countrymen are viewed by an Italian, and, in a way, I feel that it is only fair that I should be reading this tome, in view of the fact that much of the stuff I write about on this blog concerns an Englishman’s perception of Italians and life in Italy.

The book may also help me to understand further how Italians view their own country and culture, and this, in turn, should help me to balance my perception of Italy and its people.

Interestingly enough, for me anyway, the prologue to ‘I Segreti di Londra’ discusses how the English view the Italians.  What emerges from this brief analysis is that although historically the English looked down their noses at the unruly Italians, many English people found Italy irresistible. 

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Some of the more adventurous visitors (John Bright) from the green and pleasant land actually discovered that Italians are really quite nice people if you take the time to get to know them.

I also know a few English people who have been in Italy for a number of years who would agree with Bright’s ‘discovery’, and one of those people is myself.

Anyway, although I’ve really only started, I’ve found everything fascinating so far, even if it is a little odd to see myself, so to speak, under the microscope.  Odd, but instructive.

The last book I read on this subject was Beppe Severgnini‘s “L’inglese”, but although it was amusing, I found its assessment of the English character to be a wee bit superficial and dated, although I should point out that the book was a send up of the English and not some attempt at psychological analysis.  Augias’ book, on the other hand, is more up to date and seems to be attempting to get ‘up close and personal’ with the way we English are, and why.

After I’ve read some more, I’ll post here to see if the book meets my expectations, and manages to help me understand what I am, and why.  Whatever, I do believe I will continue to enjoy my guided tour of London courtesy of Corrado Augias, who, incidentally is an ex-politician and MEP.

The book ‘I Segreti di Londra’  was a best seller in Italy, but I’ve yet to check whether it has been translated into English.  If I discover that it has, and I continue to find it enthralling, I shall pop it in my shops.

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