English lessons on English Houses

March 17, 2010

This is a tiny book for 14 year olds to learn the English language. It was published in Porto in 1924. Charming little stories on English habits, that explain about verbs, past tense, everyday words etc etc. Of course I can sympathise with the readers as I had to learn the language myself at that age, but i can’t remember a school book so enjoyable, informative and with such beautiful little drawings as this one.

This is not just about English, you see.
The Englishman likes to have a separate house. His house is generally small, but he prefers a small house in which he and his family live alone, to a large house in which many other people live.
English like to have behind their house a little garden with trees and flowers.

Two sentences – a whole culture explained.
And it concludes with an inexplicably important geographical statement:
In the south of England houses are generally built of bricks; in the north stone is usually employed.

That was all.
The reason for so many country houses, for the stone houses in the Highlands where it could be quarried locally, and brick houses in the south where the clay sediment from the rivers is plenty – and the general garden obsession on top of that.
Mr Texeiro Botelho (you were the English teacher I presume); wise, wise man.