In Search of the English Eccentric
By Henry Hemming
A witty anthropological journey in search of the quintessential English eccentric.
The English eccentric is under threat. In our increasingly homogenised society, these celebrated parts of our national identity are anomalies that may soon no longer fit. Or so it seems. On his entertaining and thought-provoking quest to discover the most eccentric English person alive today, Henry Hemming unearths a surprisingly large array of delightfully odd characters.
He asks what it is to be an eccentric. Is it simply to thrive on creativity and non-conformity, and where does this incarnation of Englishness stem from? Hemming concludes that this tribe is, in fact, in rude health, as essential as ever to the English national identity, only they are no longer to be found where youd expect them.
Henry Hemming is 28 years old. His first book, Misadventure in the Middle East: Travels as a Tramp, Artist and Spy, the product of a year-long journey through the Middle East, was published last year to critical acclaim.
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- Publication date:
02 Apr 2009
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'A lovely, heartfelt paean to English eccentrics, by a member of the tribe. A funny, timely and moving encounter with a dying breed.' — Jon Ronson
The new Michael Palin — Tatler
'Hemming keeps up a stream of comic patter' — Guardian
'Hilarious' — Daily Mail
'Hemming makes some good points' — Sunday Telegraph/ Seven
'Hemming is a kindly collector and a champion of people who live as they see fit' — Metro
'Highly entertaining' — Traveller
'Intelligent and encouraging' — TLS
Hemming makes a convincing case for the ways in which eccentrics benefit any society or era — Financial Times
'If nothing else this book confirms the old adage "there's nothing so strange as folk" — Folkestone Herald & Dover Express
'Entertaining and thought-provoking ... Hemming unearths a surprisingly large array of delightfully odd characters' — Cambridge Evening News