Nov 1967 • Vol. XXIX No. 5 NonfictionNovember 1, 1967 |

Rose Macaulay

One of the skeins in English life which non-English people, including the other British, find hardest to unravel is that apparently tangled but in fact intricately woven phenomenon known as the class structure. They find superficial aspects of it absurd, even degrading. Nevertheless, they have perceived a national characteristic. For all their unity in times of danger, the English are first of all individualistic and then set-forming. This habit of instinctive segregation begins at the very bottom of the social order. 70 years ago, I recall, lIttle London ragamuffins described others (who seemed to me indistinguishable from themselves) as "no class," meaning that even among those near the starvation line some were beneath contempt The respectable held themselves aloof. They were not rough. Their stockings and clothes, however shabby, were neatly mended. They blew their noses with handkerchiefs, and had their hair cut and brushed. They prided themselves upon truthfulness. If star

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Orpheus

By Michael Goldman

One of the skeins in English life which non-English people, including the other British, find hardest to unravel is that apparently tangled but in fact intricately woven phenomenon known as […]

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