When the idea came to me to make this entry, I first thought to make a list of my top ten favoirte English people. But as I thought more about the list, I realized I had more than ten who really had to be on the list. For example, I couldn't keep Queen Elizabeth II off the list as well as at least six English Rock musicians.
So, here is my list of my favorite seventeen (plus seven) English people:
- William Shakespeare: Of course, he has to be on the list.
- Charlies Dickens: Ditto!
- GK Chesterton: What a comfort he is to read.
- George Orwell: Great Prose Stylist. Too bad, he was a socialist. And yet you have to admire him for writing 1984 and Animal Farm.
- Evelyn Waugh: He is a sheer hoot to read.
- Margaret Thatcher: Lefties loathe her which only makes her more outstanding in my eyes.
- Winston Churchill: What a life he lead!
- Sir Kenneth Clark: I have watched his documentary series Civilisation over and over and over again.
- Malcolm Muggeridge: I love his writings.
- JRR Tolkien: Love TLOR!
- William Blake: A great poet!
- WH Auden: Another great poet!
- Alec Guiness: I have to have an actor in this list!
- Queen Elizabeth II: I am a proud subject thereof.
- The Beatles: As a collective I put them on the list. Separately, they are.....
- Joe Strummer: He is the list's token punk rocker.
- Monty Python: As a collective, I put them on the list despite Terry Jones choosing Imagine as one of his desert island discs, and John Cleese contemptuous remarks about Sarah Palin.
People I could have put on the list but didn't: The Who, Johnny Rotten, Thomas Hardy, Alfred E Marshall, Cardinal Newman, Hugh Grant, Ricky Gervais, Roger Moore.
People who aren't eligible to be on this list but I wish were: John Derbyshire, Milton Friedman, Thomas Sowell, Dostoevsky, Rush Limbaugh, Bobby Orr, Gary Carter, Joe Namath, Pele, Fred Hayek, Preston Manning, Guy Lafleur, Bruce Lee, Kierkegaard, James Stewart, Fred Astaire, TS Eliot, James Joyce, Mark Twain, Florence King, and Federic Bastiat.
And it goes without saying that this list is full of some terrible omissions.
It is also full of inconsistencies, but I won't be slapping myself in the head and saying "Doh!" over this. Instead, through the coming months, I will come across the name of some English person whose existence my memory didn't summon up during the week of July 1 to July 7, 2012, and then I will be slapping myself silly or in a pleasure-seeking manner.