Originally posted on Blogger on 14 January 2015
Through the process of deciding to blog about this trip, this blog went through a variety of names as if it were a book. One of my first thoughts was: “Vive l’Angleterre”, based on what the revolutionary yell in the 2012 movie Les Miserables as they run to the barricade.
As the time for me to leave for London got closer, I started thinking what I wanted this blog to be about. I realized it was going to focus more on my love for London and British history and what I was doing, than what had happened in France in 1832. This isn’t to say that “Vive l’Angleterre” would be untrue. I think there is truth to those words in terms of England, but I realized it didn’t say anything about what the blog was going to be about.
I ended up changing it to its current title. I think it evokes more of what I’m setting out to do – to explore London, England, and Great Britain at large. It describes what England was and is to the people who lived there and and the words that were written by one of the most well known playwrights of the sixteenth century: William Shakespeare. The line that is the blog title comes from a speech spoken by John of Gaunt in Act II Scene 2 of Richard II. The section it’s from reads:
“…Or as a moat defensive to a house, / Against the envy of less happier lands, / This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England, / This nurse, this teaming tomb of royal kings, / Fear’d by their breed and famous by their birth…”
These lines describe England both as it was and as it is. As it was in the time of the Plantagenets, as it is in the time of the Tudors when Shakespeare was writing. As it was when Shakespeare wrote, as it is now. These words encompass all that, because this, one of the final lines John of Gaunt says, in my body embodies what it is to be English, proving that England can stand up for itself even when they’re tearing the country apart in a civil war for the crown.