The united kingdom of great britain and northern ireland



Download 103.22 Kb.
Date conversion13.04.2016
Size103.22 Kb.
THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND


UK – consists of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

GB – consists of England Wales and Scotland

England means England


UK

- is constitutional monarchy

- the head of state is QUEEN ELIZABETH II.

- the constitution has not been written - it is based on customs, traditions and common law

- main parties : CONSERVATIVE and LABOUR

- Queen Elizabeth II has no political power

- The head of government is the Prime Minister.


- There is parliamentary democracy.

- Parliament consists of two houses:


The House of Lords (hereditary for life)
The House of Commons (elected members of parliament)
Elections take place after 5 years. The seat of the Prime Minister can be found at Downing Street 10 in London and Queen’s home is Buckingham Palace.
National flag is called UNION JACK. It is symbolizes the Union of England, Scotland and Ireland. It dates back from 1801.

National anthem is "GOD SAVE THE QUEEN"
Currency
Used in the UK is one pound (Libra).

Language
The official language spoken here is English.

Magazines and TV
The best known newspapers are - the Times -the Independent - the Daily Mirror -the Guardian - the Daily Telegraph.
 
The most famous TV channels there are:
BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation)
IBA (Independent Broadcasting Authority)
The best-known channels are: BBC 1, BBC 2, and ITV...


Character of British people

British are conservative and like traditions. They are famous for their sense of humour. Gentlemen we can find only in Britain. For Scottish is typical wearing national dresses kilt and bagpipes. They are very mean and drink whiskey. There is a Scottish proverb: "Never marry for money. You will borrow it cheaper." The Irish hate English. There are fights between the troops (of British and IRA (Irish Republican Army) armies. The British are simply helpless, very polite, and quaint, have nice accent, overcooked food, bowler hat and umbrella and live in splendid isolation. They are never tired of saying: "I'm sorry, Excuse me." They like spending their leisure time with the family, pets in their houses. They say: "My house my castle." They have good table manners. The English like to live in family houses. A typical English house has 2 floors. Many houses in the streets look the same.

British people have a special kind of humor called “Black humor” - Lord and servant James


English food

When you go to England, you will surely ENGLISH PIES. They can be stuffed with almost anything – potatoes, meat, cabbage, jam, fruit, and cottage cheese. A cottage pie is not a pie at all. It is a dish made of minced beef, carrots, onions and mashed potatoes.

FISH AND CHIPS is another well – known take away dish.

The traditional English breakfast is something everybody should try. It does not include anything healthy, because almost all the foods are fried: scrambled eggs, bacon, ham, sausages, and mushrooms, tomatoes, and baked beans and tea with milk.

ENGLISH TEA has a long tradition. It is a light meal usually served between 3 and 5 p.m. Sometimes it is called “low tea”, because it was served on low tables like coffee. In England you can meet such unusual names for tea like “high tea”, “cream tea”, “and cottage tea”.

The most famous people who were born in UK

King Henry VIII. – he had 6 wives, he killed two of them

Sir Francis Drake – he established British supremacy on the sea

Elizabeth I. – she was a daughter of Henry VIII. , she was called “QUEEN VIRGIN”, she never married and had no children

Princess Diana – she died in the car crash

James Watt – founder of steam engine

Captain James Cook – he discovered Australia

Mr. Bean – Rowan Atkinson - very famous British comic

Charlie Chaplin

The Beatles – popular music group

George Stephenson – led to the industrial revolution

J.K. Rowling – she has written Harry Potter

Catherine – Zeta Jones

Daniel Craig – he played in James Bond film

Rod Stewart – singer

Ozzy Osbourne – singer

Jamie Oliver – very famous cook

David Beckham - football player

Lewis Hamilton - F1 World Champion

Frank Lampard - footballer



GEOGRAPHY

GB – is a large island separated from the Continent of Europe by the North sea, in the west – there is the Atlantic ocean, between Ireland and GB is the Irish sea – there is famous Isle of man – free of taxis, and The English channel in the south.

There are more than 5000 smaller islands such as the Shetlands, the Orkneys, the Hebrides and the Channel islands.

Rivers
They are very important sources of energy.
The biggest river is the Thames. Its length is 336 km.
The longest river is the Severn; its length is 338 km.
Other important rivers are:
The Clyde in Scotland
The Shannon in Ireland
The Trent
The Tweed
The Tay

The highest mountains are : Snowdon – in Wales



Pennines – in England

Ben Nevis – in Scotland

The capitals are: LONDON – in UK and in England

CARDIFF – in Wales

EDINBURGH – in Scotland

BELFAST – in Northern Ireland
CLIMATE

British Isles have milder climate due to the Gulf Stream.


Winters are not very cold and summers aren’t very warm. Winters are mild without snow with a lot of rain, the average temperature in the coldest month – January - is about 7˚C (degrees of Celsius)

  • in summer the average temperature is 25 - 27˚C (degrees of Celsius)

Britain is known for its fogs.

National economy
Britain is one of the most industrial countries in the world.
Britain is rich in natural resources:
black coal
iron ore
oil
natural gas
chalk
salt sand
sandstone
uranium
There are many branches of industry:
chemical – is the most advanced
textile
production of vehicles
production of arms, books, drugs
electronics industry
The main agricultural products:
Sugar, fruit, vegetables, breeding cattle and sheep
HISTORY
Britain was the part of the continent of Europe until about 6000 BC



Little is known about people inhabiting the British Isles in the pre-Celtic period (before 800 BC) some monuments built by them have been preserved such as Stonehenge, erected some time before 1000 BC or Newgarange monument – it is the tomb.

The first Celtic tribes, the Goidels or Gales are believed to have come to the British isles between 800 & 700 BC. Two centuries later they were followed by the Brythons or ancient Britons after whom the country was called Britain.

Their language survives in Welsh and Gaelic territories as well as in the names of the main European rivers (the Thames, the Elbe, the Rhine and the Danube).




The first Roman invasion was led by Julius Caesar in 55 BC. But Britain was not conquered until some 90 years later, under Emperor Claudius, in 43 AD. (Anno Domini). England was added to the Roman Empire in 43 AD.

Although the Roman occupation of Britain lasted nearly 400 years, its effects were few.

The Romans built camps, forts and roads and also Hadrian´s Wall as the protection against the invasion of the Celtic tribes. Trade flourished and Christianity was brought to Britain.

In the middle of the 5th century, three Germanic tribes – The Angles, Saxons and Jute’s invaded Britain from the continent. From the 8th century the Anglo-Saxons had to face Scandinavian invaders – the Danes and the Norsemen sometimes referred to as Vikings –who occupied parts of Britain & made some permanent settlements. The Scandinavian invasions continued till the 11th century. The Anglo Saxon period can be characterized as a period of transition from a tribal to feudal organization of society. The most famous Saxon king was Alfred the Great.


The period of feudalism started around 1066 and lasted to the 15th century. In this period the modern English nation and language came into being. It was a period of struggle for power between kings & between powerful nobles a period of frequent wars, bloodshed & suffering. But it was also a period in which the development of the wool trade and the early decline of feudalism prepared the way for England’s rise as a world power.

The last successful invasion was made by French speaking Normans led by William Duke of Normandy, who became William the Conqueror after defeating the Saxon King Harold in the Battle of high positions. (We know this period from the legends about Ivanhoe and Robin Hood.)


The opposition by nobles forced King John to sign Magna Charta in 1215, a guarantee of rights and the rule of law. During the 13th century the parliamentary system slowly developed.

The period between 1485 and 1603 is known as the Tudor Period. It was a turning point in English history. England became one of the leading powers. The two famous rulers of the House of Tudor were Henry VIII and Elisabeth I. The Elizabethan age produced the world’s greatest playwright William Shakespeare.

English dynastic claims to large parts of France led to the Hundred Year´s War (1338 - 1453) and the defeat of England. A long civil war, the War of the Roses, between the House of Lancaster (whose emblem was a white rose) and the House of York (whose emblem was a red rose), began in 1455 and ended in victory for Henry Tudor.

Religious independence from Rome was secured when the Church of England was separated from the authority of the Pope in 1543 by King Henry WIII.


Under Queen Elizabeth I (1558- 1603) Britain became a major sea power, leading to the founding of colonies in the new world and expansion of trade with Europe and the Orient. In 1588 England defeated the Spanish Army and this, together with the explorations carried out by Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh, and helped establish British supremacy on the seas.

The first 40 years of the 17th century can be characterized as a period of growing conflict between the King and parliament, representing the interests of the bourgeoisie. The conflict let to the civil war in the 1640 which resulted in the abolition of the monarchy and in Cromwell’s military rule in the middle of the century. This period ended in the Glorious Revolution which marked the end of the English bourgeoisie revolution.



Scotland was united with England when James VI of Scotland was crowned James I of England in 1603.
A struggle between Parliament and the Stuart Kings led to a bloody Civil War (1642 - 1649). The country was divided between the supporters of Charles I, who wanted to rule absolutely, and the Army leader, established a republic and King Charles was beheaded.

The monarchy was restored in 1660 but the Glorious Revolution in 1688 confirmed the sovereignty of Parliament.


During the Industrial Revolution (1760 – 1850) Britain became the first industrial power in the world, “the workshop of the world.” The Anglo- French rivalry for world domination which had started in the previous period continued and culminated in the Napoleonic Wars (1803 – 1815).

The Victorian era which comprised the second half of the 19th century, called after Queen Victoria, was a period in which Britain became the strongest world power: besides being the greatest financial and commercial power, the greatest sea power and the greatest colonial power. In was the era of the greatest colonial expansion, especially in Africa.

The 13 North American colonies were lost, but replaced by growing empires in Canada and India.
Large parts of Africa and Asia were added to the empire during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837- 1901). In the time of victorious World War I Britain suffered huge casualties and economic losses.

Ireland became independent in 1921 and the independence movement became active in India and other colonies.
The country suffered major bombing damage in World War II, but held out against Germany after the fall of France in 1940. Winston Churchill, with his famous V-victory sign, offered the nation: “Nothing but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”
Industrial growth went on in the post - war period, but Britain lost its leading position to other powers.

The Thatcher conservative government has however increased the role of private enterprise.


The 20th century is a period of the decline of Britain as a world power a period of crises of the two world wars, from which Britain emerged as a victor, but greatly weakened. It is characterised by the disintegration of Britain’s colonial empire and the effort to adjust Britain to the new situation by joining the other developed capitalist countries of western Europe in EEC.

NORTHERN IRELAND:
Ireland is the part of Great Britain. It has a population of over 1 500 000 people. Nearly half a million live in Belfast, the  capital of Northern Ireland.
There is the Queen´s University at Belfast which was founded in 1845. The capital is very important port. It is also the shopping, educational, commercial, entertainment and service centre of Norhern Ireland.
 
Language: English
Population: 1 500 000 people
Religion: approximately two-thirds of the population is Protestant and a minority Roman Catholic. There are big problems caused by the religious differences among people. There is an old hatred between Roman Catholic and Protestants. Catholic wished Ireland to remain a united country but the opinion of Protestants was quite different. (Northern Ireland remained politically joined to GB while the south of Ireland was made independent. This decision was popular among Irish Protestant but Catholic wanted Ireland to remain a united country. The population can be divided into Unionists, who want to remain a part of the United Kingdom and Republicans, who oppose it.)
Government
The head of the state is the Queen Elizabeth II.
 Economy
Northern Ireland is largely agricultural. There are small farms which produce pigs, cattle, milk and eggs. The main crops are potatoes, barley and oats.
 
Chief exports of Northern Ireland are:
-  Ships
-  Aircraft
-  Linen textiles
-  Agricultural products, livestock

LONDON:
London is the capital of the United Kingdom, of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It lies on the Thames River and it is the largest city in the country. London is the seat of the Monarch, the Parliament, the Government, the Supreme Court, the Church of England, etc.
It is the centre of cultural, political and social activities. Tourists come there to visit monuments, museums, galleries, theatres, historical buildings and parks. London is home to about 9 million inhabitants. The most important parts of London are: the City , the Westminster , the West End , the East End
 
History
The city history is very rich. Several disasters have affected London. In 1665 a disease called the Black Plague killed more than 100,000 people.
In 1666 there was a big fire „ The Fire of London“.  It destroyed most of the city, e.g. St.Paul's Cathedral and 88 other churches.

Transport
The quickest and cheapest way to get to different places in the city is to use the underground, often called the „tube“. The London underground is one of the oldest in the world. You can see much more of London from one of its famous red buses:*red double – deckers, quick *single – deckers and *Green Line buses which connect the City with many places in London. There are also the long – distance buses called  *coaches. These buses depart from Victoria Coach Station.
London has the familiar black taxis also called „ Black cabs“. You can stop it if it has a sign on it „ for hire“.
There are five airports in London; the largest of them is HEATHROW.

Places of General Interest

The Tower of London
It is the typical symbol of the capital and at the same time a top tourist attraction. William the Conqueror began to build the massive fortress to defend the city of London. It was the place of some of the bloodiest events in English history. Many important personalities were arrested and executed there. Now it is a museum where tourists go to see an arsenal of weapons and the Crown Jewels. The Tower is guarded by the Yeoman Warders called „Beefeaters“. They wear a distinctive/typical uniform from Tudor times. Beefeaters guard together with six ravens that are kept in the Tower. Legend says that if the ravens flew away, it would be the end of the Tower and the kingdom. The ravens´ wings are clipped to prevent this.

Tower Bridge
It stands next to the Tower and is typical London’s landmark. It has two spectacular Gothic towers. Two glass-covered Walkways link the top of the towers to allow foot passengers to cross over the river Thames and give superb views of the river. The bridge is raised in the middle to allow tall ships to pass up the river. It takes 90 seconds to rise.

Trafalgar Square
It is the largest square in London and a place of political demonstrations, busy traffic, tourists and pigeons. In the middle of the square is the statue of Admiral Nelson who looks towards the Houses of Parliament and is guarded by four magnificent bronze lions. The statue is surrounded by two fountains.

Westminster Abbey
It is a magnificent Gothic building with the twin towers. It is a house of God and a house of kings. The Abbey was founded as a Benedictine monastery. Since the crowning of William the Conqueror here in 1666, the Abbey has been the nation’s „Coronation church“. Coronations of every king or queen (except two) have been held here. Visitors can admire Coronation Chair – this oak chair has been used at every coronation. It is also the burial and memorial place of numerous writers, poets, actors, musicians  e.g. Geoffrey Chaucer. The Abbey contains many outstanding royal tombs. There were many important recent royal funerals, such as those of Diana Princess of Wales and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth = the Queen Mother. Above all, the Abbey is a living church; there are regular services every day.
 
St Paul’s Cathedral
It is the seat of the Bishop of London and the spiritual centre of City. It is a masterpiece of the famous architect, Sir Christopher Wren who rebuilt this cathedral and 52 other city churches after the Great Fire of London in 1666. Cathedral is built in Baroque style and has been the setting for many significant occasions in the nation’s history, such as the funeral service of Sir Winston Churchill or the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1981.

Buckingham Palace
It is the official London residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Royal Standard flutters when Her Majesty the Queen is in residence. An inseparable part of the Palace is the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of it. The statue represents the ideals of motherhood, truth, justice, peace and progress. The five regiments of Foot Guards, easily recognized by their scarlet uniforms and bearskins, guard Buckingham Palace. The Guard is changed at 11.30 am. This ceremony takes 40 minutes and is usually watched by vast crowds.




Houses of Parliament
It is the political centre of the United Kingdom, the home of the British Parliament. They were rebuilt in the Neo-Gothic style in 1840 after a fire destroyed the previous building. The complex includes:
The House of Commons 
The House of Lords
Westminster Hall – the great hall dates from medieval times
Clock Tower – this famous landmark contains the bell known as Big Ben
 
The House of Lords - it is one of two chambers. It is a Gothic hall decorated in red with the throne of the Monarch. The House of Lords is composed of bishops, archbishops and peers who have inherited titles and are appointed for life.
The House of Commons - is simpler in style, consists of parallel rows of green leather benches. There are elected members. The Prime Minister and Government Ministers form the Cabinet and they sit on the front bench on the right side. The Opposition is on the left side.
The Clock tower  = Big Ben
Is is the voice of London and it has been telling the time since 1859. It is a part of the Houses of Parliament. Big Ben is not really the name of the clock; it is the name of the bell (named after Sir Benjamin Hall). The strike of Big Ben is known all around the world because it is used by the BBC as a time signal.

Downing Street
No. 10 Downing street is a closed street and it is the official home of the British Prime Minister. No.10, with the most photographed door in the world, is guarded outside by a single policeman.

Piccadilly Circus
It is a place where 5 busy streets join into the circular square. It is the busiest and noisiest place in London. It is a centre of entertainment, nightclubs, theatres, cinemas and restaurants. The square is lit by many colourful advertisements. In the centre of the circus, at the top of the Fountain stands Eros, the Greek God of love.
Parks and Gardens
Hyde Park
It is probably the most popular among tourists because of its Speaker’s Corner. It is the place where everybody can speak openly/publicly without fear of being arrested for his or her opinions.

Regent’s Park
It is perhaps London’s most elegant park with its attractive gardens, lakes and the Zoo.
St. James’s Park, Kensington Gardens

Museums and Galleries
Madam Tussaud's Museum
It is visited by thousands of visitors every year. It contains waxworks of famous world figures, e.g. international statesmen (Winston Churchill, Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher), sportsmen (Martina Navrátilová, David Beckham...), film stars (Beatles, Madonna...), Royal Family, the Pope...
London has two Tate Galleries:
Tate Britain – it displays the collection of British paintings from 1500 to the present day
Tate Modern – it displays the collection of international modern art from 1900 to the present day including major works by Dalí, Picasso, Warhol, etc.
The National Gallery
It contains the best-known collection of paintings, e.g. Rubens, Rembrandt, Raphael, El Greco, etc.
The National Portrait Gallery
You can admire the portraits of British monarchs

Shopping:

Harrods is the world’s best-known store. It’s named after its founder Henry Harold. The store began as a small grocer’s shop and at the same time it was the first store in the world to install an escalator. Other big shopping stores are: Selfridges, Marks and Spencer, John Lewis
Interesting places in England
Besides London, which is in the centre of each tourist’s attention, there are many other fascinating places.

Oxford and Cambridge are the old university towns.

Stratford-upon-Avon is the birthplace of William Shakespeare and the place where his plays are performed at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre. Warwick is the castle and the town, which were built in 10th century. There is a museum now.

Bath has been one of the oldest spas in the valley of the river Avon since the Romans built bath there. Many interesting spa houses were built there in 18th century.

Canterbury is an ancient city with a majestic cathedral.

The other old cathedral town is Winchester-once it was the capital of England.



Salisbury is in Salisbury Plain where we can see a beautiful historic monument of Stonehenge with its giant circles which are more than 3,000 years old. The purpose of this construction is unknown - probably religious and astronomical reasons.

Greenwich is known thanks to prime meridian of 0° passes through the old observatory there. Hadrian’s Wall is a part of Roman fortifications built in 2nd century to protect England’s northern boundary.

Hastings is a seaside resort on the east coast whose nearby village of Battle was the battlefield of William the Conqueror’s victorious battle over the Anglo-Saxons in 1066 which began the Norman history of England.

Birmingham is the second largest city in Britain. We can see interesting Victorian architecture here and the network of canals. Northwest is mainly an industrial area. It is sometimes called the „Black Country“.

Coventry is an industry city originated in the 7th century.

Liverpool is one of the biggest cities in the England, founded in 12th century. It is an important port and the city of the Beatles.

The other big cities here are Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, York the residence of the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of the Northern Province. Northern England is the country of beautiful nature, many national parks and cultural traditions. Another very important place of interest is the most famous lake called Loch Ness. It is well-known because of history about a Loch Ness monster. These reports since 15th century bring millions of pounds a year to Scottish tourism. National parks: The Lake District the region which contains the principal English glacier lakes such as Windermere (the largest one), Grasmere or Coniston Water. The district is connected with pre-romantic writers such as William Wordsworth, Samuel Coleridge or John Ruskin; Yorkshire Dales National Park.























































SCOTLAND

Scotland is geographically and socially divided into the Highlands and the Lowlands.

Besides English Gaelic (/Scottish English) is spoken too. Scottish people are tough, mountain people grouped in tribes or clans.

Scotland is not an independent country. The Act of union in 1707 united Scotland with England and abolished the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. (Now it has its parliament again)


Edinburgh is one of Britain's most attractive. It is a city for people who like to walk as there are many green parks, gardens and hills. It is a busy modern city but history is everywhere. It was home of the Scottish kings and queens until 1603. Royal Mile begins at the old castle and goes eastwards to Holyrood Castle.

Hadrian’s Wall is the historical border between England and Scotland. The Romans built it to keep the Scottish tribes out.


The Scots are proud with a strong sense of tradition. They have pale skin with freckles and red hair.

The Highlands games or Scottish Olympics are very popular all over the world. They include various events: throwing a hammer, tossing a caber (tree trunk) but also dancing competition, f. e. flynn and sword-dance. The athletes, dancers, pipers, all competitors and also the judges are dressed in kilts.

Kilts are national Scottish dresses (/costumes) and they are from tartan cloths. To make a kilt takes 8 metres. They are worn by men and women but men's have a pocket.

Typical sports are golf and curling.


The national instrument of Scotland is bag pipes made from leather covered in tartan.

Scotland has many lakes which they call lochs. Best known is Loch Ness and its "monster" called Nessie is a tourist attraction.

Fishing in Scotland is both sport and work. To catch a salmon in a Scottish river needs skill and experience because it is strong and difficult to catch.

Scottish whisky or Scotch is very popular all over the world.

Haggis is a typical Scottish meal made from sheep’s heart, liver and lungs with onion oatmeal, salt and a stock- It is a kind of sausage.

Thistle – it is Scottish national flower, you can see it everywhere, and e.g. it is a logo of football teams. There is a legend about the thistle, when the Scots and Norsemen were at war, the enemies landed unseen on the coast and wanted to surprise the Scottish army at night. They took off their boots and crept in the darkness. But many of them gave out cries of pain because they stepped on thistles – it woke up sleeping Scots, and it was the reason the attackers were defeated.



WALES
It is a mysterious country. It is called land of legends, dangerous dragons and powerful wizards, Celtic druids and cruel giants.

The greatest legend is about King Arthur and his noble Knights of the Round Table. King Arthur was famous for his sword Excalibur and his friend Merlin the magician.


Welsh people called this country CYMRU in Welsh. About 3 million people live there

The biggest city, Cardiff, is the capital of Wales.

The Welsh are very friendly and funny, they love their songs and culture and like to eat, drink and talk.

The national flower is daffodil and the national emblem is leek.

There are two official languages. People speak English and Welsh. Welsh is Celtic language.

Attractive sights

Wales has 3 wonderful national parks. Snowdonia is the most famous one.

Wales also attracts a lot of tourists because of its romantic castles. One of the most visited is Caernarfon Castle.

Wales is a rocky mountains with a lot of hills and valleys. The land is poor and there is heavy rainfall at many times of the year. This makes landscape beautiful, with green trees, forests, lakes and river, but it makes life difficult for farmers. But there is one type of animal that can live very well here – the sheep.

Looking after sheep is very hard job but shepherds have helpers – their dogs.

Sheepdog trials – is a competitions where dogs have to show how well can they work.

Bog snorkelling – very famous competition where competitors have to swim 120 metres through a narrow ditch filled with water. They wear snorkels, face masks and flippers.






NORTHERN IRELAND:


Ireland is the part of Great Britain. It has a population of over 1 500 000 people. Nearly half a million of people live in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland.


There is the Queen’s University at Belfast which was founded in 1845. The capital is very important port. It is also the shopping, educational, commercial, entertainment and service centre of Northern Ireland.
Language: English
Population: 1 500 000 people
Religion: approximately two-thirds of the population is Protestant and a minority Roman Catholic. There are big problems caused by the religious differences among people. There is an old hatred between Roman Catholic and Protestants. Catholic wished Ireland to remain a united country but the opinion of Protestants was quite different. (Northern Ireland remained politically joined to GB while the south of Ireland was made independent. This decision was popular among Irish Protestant but Catholic wanted Ireland to remain a united country. The population can be divided into Unionists, who want to remain a part of the United Kingdom and Republicans, who oppose it.)
National Flower is shamrock

In Ireland and Northern Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday in honor of the patron saint of Ireland.



Government
The head of the state is the Queen Elizabeth II.
Economy
Northern Ireland is largely agricultural. There are small farms which produce pigs, cattle, milk and eggs. The main crops are potatoes, barley and oats.
 
Chief exports of Northern Ireland are:
-  Ships
-  Aircraft
-  Linen textiles
-  Agricultural products, livestock

This county is home to some of the best Northern Ireland attractions.





The Giant's Causeway

The Giants Causeway is Northern Ireland's premier tourist attraction. The eighth Wonder of the World was formed 60 Million years ago and has over 40,000 columns of basalt rock.



 






Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge hosts an exhilarating experience. It is located on the North Antrim Coast between Ballycastle and Balintoy. The bridge is approx. 70ft across and spans a chasm of 80ft deep above the sea.



 






Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle is one of the most extensive ruins of a medieval castle in Northern Ireland. This late-medieval castle lies between Portballintrae and Portrush in County Antrim.



 






Old Bushmills Distillery

Old Bushmills Distillery is the oldest whiskey distillery in Ireland. It has been legally producing Irish Malt Whisky since 1608.


The Old Bushmills Distillery invites you to experience for yourself the craft and skills of making an Irish Single Malt Whiskey. I think this is one of the best Northern Ireland attractions.

 






Carrickfergus Castle

Carrickfergus Castle is an excellent example of a Norman castle in Northern Ireland. It is situated on the shore of Belfast Lough.



 






Glenariff Forest Park

Glenariff Forest Park is a beautiful and scenic area, situated in County Antrim.


The forest park is part of the famous nine ‘Glens of Antrim’. Glenariff is known as the ‘Queen of the Glens’ and you can see why when you visit.
It is considered by many people to be the most beautiful Glen of all.



Rathlin Island

Rathlin Island is a boot shaped island that lies just off the causeway coast at Ballycastle.




British Literature


  1. The Middle Ages

The oldest literature monument of the Anglo-Saxon period is the old Germanic legend about Beowulf. This heroic poem is about the strong and courageous pagan hero Beowulf.

John Wickliffe

Is a professor of Oxford University. With his students he translated the whole Bible into English. He influenced Master John Huss and our Hussite movement very much.



  1. The Renaissance and Humanism

Geoffrey Chaucer: Canterbury Tales – brilliant portrait of 30 pilgrims who travel to Canterbury and they were saying stories each other, each one said four stories. But in fact there are only 23 tales.

William Shakespeare: is the biggest author of this period.

Christopher Marlowe: might became another Shakespeare but he had been killed. However he lived only a short life, he wrote many plays – The Tragically History of Doctor Faustus, The Jew of Malta, perhaps he also wrote Henry VI, which Shakespeare revised and completed.

Sir Thomas More: He wrote Utopia – a vision of Imaginary Island with perfectly organised society.

  1. 17th Century

John Milton: is the main figure of this period. His masterpiece is Paradise Lost, which is about the revolt of Satan against Heaven and God.

  1. 18th Century

In the 18th century there is a big development of the society and economy, journalism, novels and drama developed very much. Literature became very popular.

Jonathan Swift: was a sharp critic. He wrote satirical pamphlets on all unfair events in British society. His most popular work is Gulliver’s Travels – allegory of Lemuel Gulliver's travelling thorough imaginary countries. He criticizes politics in England, kingdoms, armies, bad politicians etc. He visits four quite different worlds. The first one is country called Lilliputian, where the people are six inches high, the second country is Brobdingnag, which is inhabited by giants. The third are Laputa and Lgado – philosophers and science, and the fourth one is with Yahoos, disgusting beasts in the shape of men.

Henry Fielding: journalist, lawyer and playwright. He wrote a realistic novel Tom Jones, where he described the life in the 18th century England. Fielding is considered as the founder of the Modern English novel.

Daniel Defoe: was a politician, traveller and journalist. His most famous work is Robinson Crusoe. Robinson shipwrecked on a lonely island; he represents the qualities, which the middle class needed in capitalist competition to be successful.

  1. Romanticism

Sir Walter Scott: is a founder of historical novel. He draw the themes for his romantic novels from old folk ballads, especially from Scottish history. Ivanhoe is from the period of Richard the Lionhearted. The other novels are Waverley, Kenilworth and so on.

The romantic period is known especially for its poetry; the best English romantic poets are:



Samuel Coleridge: his masterpiece is The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner – a beautiful ballad about the mariner who shot the albatross and because of this the whole ship is cursed. The mariner is the only one who survives and his penalty is to travel from land to land with suffering soul.

Lord George Gordon Byron: represent revolutionary romanticism – unhappy and usually lonely heroes fight for freedom and their fight ends in vain. Byron was a son of nobleman. He was physically disabled from hid birth. His main work is Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. The Hero travels all over Europe and make comments of the hypocritical society and unfairness in life.

Percy Bysshe Shelly: represents also as a Byron revolutionary romanticism. His greatest work is Prometheus Unbound, based on an old Greek legend about Prometheus who steals fire from Olympus to give it to People.

  1. Victorian Age (Critical Realism) – 19th century:

Victorian Age produced great novels criticising various evils of prosperous but imperialistic society. Among the best authors of this period belong:

Emily Bronte: Wuthering Heights

Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre

both of them dealt with moral and psychological problems.



Charles Dickens: described truly the life of poor people in England. He himself suffered in his childhood and his bitter experience can be found in his works. Among his major novels belong Little Dorrit, David Copperfield, The Pickwick Papers, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, Christmas Carol – see enclosed paper.

The First Half of The 20th Century



William Makepeace Thackeray: he wrote novels against snobbery and hypocrisy. His main novel is Vanity Fair.

Thomas Hardy: together with D. H. Lawrence represents the naturalistic trend in literature. He understands hard life of common people, hates hypocrisy and brutal egoism of the rich; his work is ironical and pessimistic.

Oscar Wilde: He was born in Dublin, Ireland. His father was a well – known surgeon and his mother was a successful writer. After a comfortable childhood, he decided to study classical literature in a College in Dublin. In 1874 he moved to a College in Oxford. After college he continued writing poems and he moved to London. He publishes here his first book simply called Poems (Many literature professors criticised him, they said he was not original, because he had used many words from other poets and writers). But in spite of this criticism he became more popular (he got a great reputation for the way he dressed, for his intelligence and conversation skills). In 1884 he married Constance Lloyd and they had two boys. Wilde wrote many stories for his children including The Happy Prince and The Canterville Ghost. The plays Oscar Wilde wrote after 1890 made him a legend. He wrote 4 comedies: Lady Windermeres Fan, A Woman of no Importance, An Ideal Husband and his masterpiece The Importance of Being Ernest. He only wrote one novel – The picture of Dorian Gray. In 1893 he wrote a play in French called Salomé. He was criticised by London society and even put to prison (for 2 years) for homosexuality. The day he left prison he went directly to France and he never turned to England. He moved to Paris and changed his name. He died suddenly in 1900. Oscar Wilde was influenced by the French theory of lart-pour-lart. He is also known for his fairy tales – The happy prince, the nightingale and the Rose and the other.

The picture of Dorian Gray: Dorian Gray makes his life–style according to the rules of art. He loves the actress Sybil, because her speech in theatre is something new. When he discovered, that her art is only average, he stopped to love her and Sybil committed suicide. He loves himself so much that he doesn't grow old and his portrait grows old instead of him and it shows all his sins, although real Gray is still young and nice.

  1. The first half of 20.century:

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: is the creator of Sherlock Holmes and he makes one of the grates detective storywriters of all times.

Rudyard Kipling: was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature as a first British author. He wrote short stories about Indian, the sea, the jungle and its animals – The Jungle Book, The Second Jungle Book.

John Galsworthy: he got the Nobel Prize in 1932; he was a critical novelist, dramatist and short story–writer. His most known book is Forsyth Saga – describes upper middle class family.

James Joyce: he was born in Dublin, he wrote modern novels and experimental prose. Dubliners is a collection of short stories. His masterpiece is Ulysses – they wander around Dublin in the course of one day (Homers Ulysses about 20 years) and all the characters in the book correspond to the character of the legend.

George Bernard Shaw: is the most famous personality in drama of this period. He attacked the whole society. In his plays he criticises the false morals of the society – Pygmalion (My Fair Lady), Mrs. Warrens Profession. He was awarded the Nobel Prize.

  1. Contemporary literature:

A group called: Angry Young Men

John Wain: he expressed disillusionment and emptiness of intellectuals after W. W. II (as all angry young men – they are angry and dissatisfied with the establishment, criticise snobs and people in power). He wrote e.g. The Young Visitors.

Kingsley Amis: the most famous member of this group. He is world famous for his Lucky Jim (the main character is Jim Dickson – a lecturer at one small university).

William Golding: he was rewarded a Nobel Prize in 1983. His most known book is Lord of the Files – the story is set to the future, when an air–crash leaves a group of young boys on an island. First they are happy without their parents and they try to form an ideal society, then they form 2 groups and the end is full of barbarian bestiality.

J.R.R. Tolkien: based the stories of his fairy tale novels on his profound knowledge of old Germanic and Celtic myths. He created a fantasy world of Middle-Earth where small hobbits seek happiness, goodness and live many adventures – Hobbit, The Lord of The Rings.

George Orwell: wrote excellent novels criticising totalitarian society (Animal Farm, 1984).

Agatha Christie: is the most widely read author in the world. She is the queen of a detective story and wrote about 70 novels – The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Ten Little Niggers, Sleeping Murder, Curtain,...

Arthur C. Clarke: is a world-known science-fiction writer – 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Fountains of Paradise.

  1. Drama:

John Osborne – play Look Back in Anger – it was the beginning of the angry young men movement.

Samuel Beckett – a Nobel Prize winner in 1969, he is important both for drama and prose. His famous play is called Waiting for Godot.

Harold Pinter – is influenced by Kafka and Beckett, for example the plays: The Room, The Birthday Party.
The most successful play in history is Mouse Trap by A. Christie.

Pozn: His masterpiece is.... His most popular work is.... He wrote.... His most known book is.
18. English literature
Geoffrey Chaucer (1340 – 1400)

He was the first outstanding British writer. His masterpieces are Canterbury Tales. This book was inspirited by the Boccaccio’s Decameron. Canterbury Tales – it is a portrait of 30 pilgrims who traveled to Canterbury and tell their stories. There are representative o f nearly or social classes. There is a knight and good wife of Bath, a pardoner ,a nun, a monk, a lawyer…Chaucer hade wide experience of life, he was a polite, a diplomat, a solder, a scholar. He was the first poet; he was buried in Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey.



Daniel Defoe (160? – 1731)


He was a founder of novel. His famous work is Robinson Crusoe. Robinson shipwrecked on a lonely island….

Romanticism


Sir Walter Scott (1771 – 1823)

He is founder of historical novel. Ivanhoe is from the period of Richard I. The Lionhearted. It was inspirited of Scottish history.



Gorge Gordon Byron – Child Harold’s Pilgrimage

Critical Realism


Among the best authors of this period belong:

Emily Bronte – Wuthering Heights

Charlotte Bronte – Jane Eyre
Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870)

He lived under the reign of Victoria. He described truly the life of poor people in England in the 19th century. He combines comic and serious situations and accuses both the aristocracy and the middle class of acting heartlessly towards the common people. He himself suffered in his childhood and his bitter experience can be found in his works. Among his major novels belong: Little Dorrit, David Copperfield, the Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist…..


Oscar Wilde (1856 – 1900)

The best of his plays is The Importance of Being Earnest. He wrote also tales, the best of them is The happy Prince. He wrote also novels – f.e. The Picture of Dorian Gray.



The 20th century




George Orwell


He was born in India. He got a very good education. His famous novels are Animal Farm – it is political attire of the revolution in Russia in 1917 in a Soviet Union. This work in against absolute power which was in Russia. The basic idea that all animals are equal is in the end changed, but some animals are more equal than the others.

Angry young men


They appear at the beginning of the fifties. The were angry with the society, they were against the feat that people with food origin had more opportunities to become successful.

Heroes of their works have characteristic marks of their authors – they stop being angry when they get a position in the society.


Kinsley Amis (1922 – 96)

Lucky Jim – university novel



John Brain (1922 – 80)

Room at the Top



Life at the Top

John Wayne


Hurry on Down

John Osborne


- dramatist

Look back in Anger


The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2016
send message

    Main page