The Clumsiest People in Europe, or: Mrs. Mortimer's Bad-Tempered Guide to the Victorian World

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9780739462119: The Clumsiest People in Europe, or: Mrs. Mortimer's Bad-Tempered Guide to the Victorian World
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Sweden is full of robbers, Germans are unclean and Spaniards are cruel. Those nasty generalizations are culled from a series of 19th century children's guides to the world by Favell Lee Mortimer. Todd Pruzan, the author of The Clumsiest People in Europe, a new book that compiles Mrs. Mortimer's works, says he couldn't believe his eyes when he first read them. "It was almost like a snapshot of Victorian prejudice made available for anyone to come find," he tells Melissa Block. Friends often ask Pruzan what his book is about. "Usually I tell them that it's a collection of very nasty Victorian children's writing about geography, written by somebody who didn't get out very much," he says. Indeed Mrs. Mortimer rarely traveled outside her native England. Here's a sampling of the cultural slurs relayed by Mrs. Mortimer: On Poland: "You may go a great way without seeing anything pretty." On Burma: "The Burmese are very deceitful and tell lies on every occasion. Indeed, they are not ashamed of their falsehoods." And on her native country: "England, what country do you love best? Your own country. I know you do. Every child loves his own country best."

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Pruzan, Todd
Published by Bloomsbury Press (2005)
ISBN 10: 0739462113 ISBN 13: 9780739462119
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Todd Pruzan, Favell Lee Mortimer
Published by Bloomsbury Press (2005)
ISBN 10: 0739462113 ISBN 13: 9780739462119
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