The single quality that sets the English apart from their European cousins is that they are an island people. Their closest neighbours are the fish in the sea. This unusual relationship brings out unexpected behaviour and highlights their eccentricity: they drive on the opposite side of the road to the rest of the world; like their beer warm rather than cold; prefer roundabouts to traffic lights; pretend that foreign languages don't exist; sprinkle vinegar over their chips and for centuries used a peculiar measurement system with strange units of feet, stones and hands. The English are indeed an enigmatic folk, normal on the surface, but stranger with every layer revealed: encyclopaedias could be written about their quirky habits. This slim volume attempts no more than to scratch the surface of a big subject.