Asterix in Britain (1966)

Astérix chez les bretons

A&O channel some potion abroad.


Presenting a thematic pretentious undercurrent…/Non-PC World…

Due, no doubt, to the historical love-hate relationship between France and Britian, this adventure presents a for the most part unflattering critique of British culture as seen through French eyes. This centers particularly on British working practices - the Britons insist on taking their "hot-water breaks" and two days off at the weekend - and the perceived unpalatibility of British cuisine - Obelix in particular cannot stomach the Island's boiled meat, warm beer and chilled red wine. Other jibes include Britain's changeable climate and its stringent licensing laws. The satire is mostly at the expense of the English; but the Scottish and Irish are represented by the characters of McAnix and Overoptimistix.

(An original preface to the English edition would appear to invalidate everything I have just written above. There Goscinny and Uderzo assured the British readership that they were skitting the popular French perceptions about Britain rather than the British themselves.) (Kessler)

Notable Nomenclature...

Continuity; lack-thereof and other gaffes…

Cleverness and Contemporaneity…

That Ghastly British Gastronomy in full…

Obelix has a tender side…

More Non-PC World…

When A, O & Anticlimax seemingly buy one cup of wine between three people, the landlord assumes they must be Caledonians (Scots).

Classic Pegleg…

O fortunatos nimium, sua si bona norint agricolas. = O farmers excessively fortunate if only they recognized their blessings! (Virgil, Georgics ii.458) (p1.) and later Fluctuat nec mergitur. = It is swayed by the waves but does not sink. (Motto of city of Paris.) (p44.)

Redbeard's retort...

"You might tell us what that was instead of making silly jokes, young feller-me-lad!" (p1).

Good or What?

Very good indeed.

Not quite the best Asterix book - but probably the best 'Asterix abroad' one. I suspect Bell and Hockridge had a particularly large influence on the English version of this book, because there appear to be a lot of in-references - and the tone occasionally breaks from French vitriol into British self-deprecation.