You are invited to Log in or Register a free Frihost Account!

Eccentric Brits

Yesterday I watched the 1987 "Englishman in New York" video clip by Sting. The video features Denis Charles Pratt aka Quentin Crisp (1908-1999), a guy famous for being highly eccentric.
I quickly browsed his biography on Wikipedia - an intellectual who refused to clean his apartment, lived on dinner invitations and was famous for his witty comments.
Some of his quotes are:
"Never keep up with the Joneses; drag them down to your level. It's cheaper"
or "Homosexuality is a terrible disease" although he himself was openly gay wearing female clothes.

What other eccentric Brits do you know and what makes them so eccentric? Why is it that Brits seem to have a monopoly on being eccentric?
kaysch wrote:
What other eccentric Brits do you know and what makes them so eccentric? Why is it that Brits seem to have a monopoly on being eccentric?
I'd say because they have a very strong sense of "self". Churchill for me was definitely eccentric. Here are his daily routines:
Despite all this activity Churchill’s daily routine changed little during these years. He awoke about 7:30 a.m. and remained in bed for a substantial breakfast and reading of mail and all the national newspapers. For the next couple of hours, still in bed, he worked, dictating to his secretaries.

At 11:00 a.m., he arose, bathed, and perhaps took a walk around the garden, and took a weak whisky and soda to his study.

At 1:00 p.m. he joined guests and family for a three-course lunch. Clementine drank claret, Winston champagne, preferable Pol Roger served at a specific temperature, port brandy and cigars. When lunch ended, about 3:30 p.m. he returned to his study to work, or supervised work on his estate, or played cards or backgammon with Clementine.

At 5:00 p.m., after another weak whisky and soda, he went to be for an hour and a half. He said this siesta, a habit gained in Cuba, allowed him to work 1 1/2 days in every 24 hours. At 6:30 p.m. he awoke, bathed again, and dressed for dinner at 8:00 p.m.

Dinner was the focal-point and highlight of Churchill’s day. Table talk, dominated by Churchill, was as important as the meal. Sometimes, depending on the company, drinks and cigars extended the event well past midnight. The guests retired, Churchill returned to his study for another hour or so of work.

Wow, what a daily routine.

I found an article that basically confirms what you wrote - that Britain has a culture of accepting, encouraging, and treasuring the eccentric, maybe for the cause that to be eccentric you have to have quite an amount of money and be part of upper class.
Many cultures across the world condemn those who do not fit in; Britain has a tradition of revering such people.


The article defines the term eccentric as follows:
British eccentrics may do any of the following:
•Dress oddly
•Demonstrate unusual lifestyles or personal habits
•Hold obsessions with hobbies
•Show interest in unusual animals
•Be reclusive
•Feel different from others
•Hold non-conforming ideas

Here is a list of classic eccentric Brits:
Strangely enough, Churchill is not on the list.

I find the sign at George Sitwell's family house quite remarkable:
"I must ask anyone entering the house never to contradict me or differ from me in any way, as it interferes with the functioning of my gastric juices and prevents my sleeping at night."
Josso wrote:
Laughing A good one and right on the mark!

Here's a good one - Lawrence of Arabia - now that was an eccentric character:

Then definitely Peter O'Toole. Richard Burton. Quite a few movie actors. Dudley Moore. Peter Sellers. ....
Wow, that description of Churchill's day sounds like my wife's ideal day!

But yea I think eccentricity definitely is more common in certain areas around the world. Brits are certainly high on the list. Here in the states I have lived it many different states and I would say the rate of eccentrics differs highly for some reason or another depending on location. I think it has to do with a sense of self and being accepted for not being "normal".

Of course it could just be in the water......
I like the idea of being eccentric.

I love dressing differently and walk with a swagger. I laugh at those that look at me with disdain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Related topics
Taiwan- China or U.S.
Jackson - Not Guilty
[OFFICIAL] What are you currently reading?
London blasts cause chaos on Tube
"terrorist" my thoughts
New charlie and choclate factory
Pirates of the Carribean...
Comic Heroes
Broadband modem crash
Troops in Iraq have to pay for armor?
Best Building in the World
one for the brits...
Official Beijing Olympics 2008 Thread!
Brits opt out of EU Fiscal Deal
Reply to topic    Frihost Forum Index -> General -> General Chat

© 2005-2011 Frihost, forums powered by phpBB.