Dominic Sandbrook

King Dubya

The Eagle and the Crown: Americans and the British Monarchy

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Yale University Press 256pp £25 order from our bookshop

In Defence of America

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In 1839 a disgruntled reader wrote to the United States Magazine, describing a trip he had recently taken to Philadelphia. ‘When I landed,’ he wrote, ‘I fancied I was in some city in the English dominions.’ On the wall facing the docks he saw a gigantic poster announcing that a portrait of the British Queen was still on show at the Masonic Hall. A little further on, in the window of a barber’s shop, he saw ‘a variety of hair brushes, with portraits of “Her Most Gracious Majesty” on them’. In the exchange he noticed a marble bust with familiar regal features; stopping to buy soap at a perfumer’s, he caught sight of a range of ‘Queen Victoria soaps’. The city, he complained, might as well be renamed ‘Victoriadelphia’. 

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