Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

Given our interests, you might have thought that we'd have pounced on The Smell of the Continent the moment it was published in 2009. The book is a witty and well-researched account of how the English discovered continental Europe in a decades following the Napoleonic Wars.

article summary —

You probably never knew that George Eliot was so keen on her mutton. Nor did we, until we followed the Eliot trail to Ilfracombe (see previous article). And Eliot’s praise of English meat hits at the heart of a key historic difference between the English and their continental neighbours. In nineteenth-century France, hoteliers often referred to their English guests as les rosbifs, alluding to the English tendency to require a decent helping of meat to be served with every meal.

English travel habits in Europe, and the wider issue of English attitudes to the continent, are the focus of one of the most interesting books we have read this year.

This is just an excerpt. The full text of this article is not yet available to members with online access to hidden europe. Of course you can also read the full article in the print edition of hidden europe 38.

About the authors

hidden europe

and manage hidden europe, a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine. Nicky and Susanne are dedicated slow travellers. They delight in discovering the exotic in the everyday.

This article was published in hidden europe 38.