The Kingdom by the Sea
A Journey Around the Coast of Great BritainBook - 1984
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One of the few boasts the British risked was that their country was changeless. In some trivial ways it was, but to an alien it seemed entirely irregular and unpredictable, changing from day to day. It was not a question of seismic shocks, but rather a steadier kind of erosion–like the seemingly changeless and consoling tide, in which there was always, in its push and pull, slightly more loss than gain. The endless mutation of the British coast wonderfully symbolized the state of the nation. In a quiet way the British were hopeful, and because in the cycle of ruin and renewal there had been so much ruin, they were glad to be still holding on–that was the national mood–but they were hard put to explain their survival. The British seemed to me to be a people forever standing on a crumbling coast and scanning the horizon.
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