Letter from November 2006 British Heritage Magazine

Anglophiles from Jupiter to Juneau

Welcome to British Heritage. Whether you are a new reader or a faithful subscriber of many years, it is a pleasure to number you with us. Every couple of months, British Heritage comes through the post to carry you from the everyday world into the fascinating and colorful realm of what’s-really-important and, I hope, richly rewarding.

From the Northern Isles to the Lizard, from a Celtic roundhouse to the footlights of the West End, BH unfolds the magic of Britain’s yesterday and today, and illuminates how this rich historic culture plays a continuing, dynamic role in our identity and history here in the New World.

Anglophiles from Jupiter to Juneau “get it,” but we often have difficulty articulating our deep fondness for British culture and the people and institutions that are the touchstones of British history. No, we don’t want to move to Finchley and root for Arsenal, nor transplant to the West a British way of life and social organization. But we do want to keep an affectionate eye on our Atlantic cousins and encourage the understanding over here that Great Britain is indeed the wellspring of our own cultural identity and the Motherland of both American and Canadian history. British Heritage is how we do it.

Each issue, BH brings an Anglophile feast of experience across the miles and centuries of this green and pleasant land. Many times folk tell me that they read British Heritage cover to cover. ’Tis music to an editor’s ears. After all, the magazine is actually designed to be read that way. We begin with hearty, eclectic appetizers in the news of what’s going on in Anglophile Britain these days. We move on to an elegant buffet of features—the people, places, institutions and events that reflect our past and shape our present. We finish with the sweets trolley, where you may nibble at will among books and gardens and tidbits of British fun.

Which of us would not love to visit the British Library, walk the fields of the Humber Estuary with an archaeologist, visit the coal valleys of South Wales with Jim Hargan or take supper at twilight at a window open to the village green? We have all had, or dream of having, our own adventures in Britain. We travel vicariously in the pages of BH, reliving old memories, renewing old enthusiasms and making wish lists for itineraries in Britain yet to come. Regular diners at the British Heritage groaning board will find here a rich issue indeed. If you are a newcomer to our festive pages, the banquet awaits.

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