Cities of the United Kingdom
About 58 million people live in Great Britain. It has a very large population for its size. Nine people out of 10 live in towns and cities. No town of comparable size enjoys such universal popularity and veneration as Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare.
Stratford - upon-Avon possesses a peculiarly English character, derived from its unique heritage of natural setting, history and literary associations, which has come to make it an international asset of the first order. Stratford is a town with a character and atmosphere of its own. Apart from the beauty of its river, its streets and buildings preserve many links with its interesting past. Most famous are the properties and gardens associated with Shakespeare and his family which are preserved as a memorial to the past.
The smooth-flowing Avon is Stratford’s greatest asset, while second only in importance is the fine old bridge with its fourteen arches. This bridge was built at the end of the 15 th century by Hugh Clopton, a native of the town. The Shakespeare Memorial Theatre is the centre of the Shakespeare Festival. This brick-built theatre was erected in 1932 to replace an earlier theatre destroyed by fire. It is without doubt one of the best equipped theatres and its Shakespearian productions attract an international audience.
Shakespeare’s statue (Gower Memorial) stands on the Bancroft, commanding the approach to Stratford from Clopton Bridge. The statue of the bard with its figures of Hamlet, Lady Macbeth, Falstaff and Prince Hall is imposing. The house in Henley Street where Shakespeare was born in 1564 and spent his early years is a half-timbered building of a type common in Elizabethan Stratford. It is visited by pilgrims from all over the world. The interior of Shakespeare’s Birthplace contain many features of unusual interest. The poet’s birthroom on the first floor is a fascinating room with a low, uneven ceiling and is furnished after the pattern of a middleclass
home such as the Shakespeare family occupied. In it is the famous window on which are recorded the signatures of distinguished people who visited the house.
Edinburgh and Glasgo are the two great centres of Scotland. Edinburgh is the city of science. It is associated with science, beautiful historic buildings and the annual festival of arts. Edinburg is called «The Athens of the North». You can see charming classical churches, banks and insurance buildings like Greek temples with Doric columns and marble friezes. You can see Calton Hill with its ridiculous unfinished folly, the Parthenon. You can wander through the delightful Botanic gardens, where in an Adam-designed house there is an exhibition of modern paintings.
One of Britain’s most productive centres of industry, Glasgow is also an ancient city with a history of its own, with relics in stone and lime of the past, with natural charms and glimpses of beauty. The focus of the City Centre is George Square, the place of formal statues. The figure of Sir Walter Scott, high up on a Doric plinth has its shepherd’s plaid thrown over the right shoulder. The University of Glasgow was founded in 1450. One may climb the 300-foot tower, see the assembly and examination halls, the Library and the Museum with its manuscripts, paintings, books and the like.
veneration - благоговение
asset - имущество; благо, достояние
pilgrim - паломник
Prince Hall - Принц Генрих, будущий король Генрих IV
half-timbered - здание, у которого стены сделаны из лесоматериала, а внутри заполнены чем-то другим
signature - подпись
distinguished - выдающийся, заслуженный, видный
«The Athens of the North» - Северные Афины
temple - храм
ridiculous - нелепый, смехотворный
folly - дорого стоящий каприз
Doric order - старейший и простейший из греческих архитектурных стилей
plinth - основа, на которой стоит памятник
Exercise 1. Answer the questions:
1. What is Stratford- upon-Avon famous for?
2. Stratford is a town with a character and atmosphere of its own, isn’t it? Why?
3. What places of interest in Stratford do you know?
4. What do you know about the Shakespeare memorial Theatre?
5. Edinburgh is called «The Athens of the North», isn’t it? Why?
6. What is Glasgow famous for?
7. Why is George Square the focus of the City Centre?
8. When was the University founded?
Snobbery is not so common in England today as it was at the beginning of the century. It still exists, however, and advertisers know how to use it in order to sell their goods.
A snob, the dictionaries tell us, is a person who pays too much respect to social position or wealth, the popular newspapers know that many of their readers are snobs. That is why they give them unimportant and useless information about persons of high social position, photographs of «Lady X and her friends» at a ball, or «Lord V and his friends» at the races.
It is snobbery that makes some men feel annoyed when on the enveloped of letters addressed to them, they find «Mr.» before their names instead of «Esq.» after their names. Snobbery explains why many people give their suburban house a name, such as «The Oaks, The Pines, The Cedars», even though there are no oak trees, pine trees or cedar trees in their gardens. People of high social position have country houses with names, so a house with a name seems «better» than a house with a number.
Numbers make the postman’s work much easier, but that is not important.
The advertisers are very clever in their use of snobbery. Motor-car manufacturers, for example, advertise the colours of their cars as «Balmoral Stone». Balmoral stone is the grey colour of ordinary stone, but Balmoral is also the name of the residence in Scotland of the British royal family.
to advertise - рекламировать
advertiser - лицо, помещающее объявление; газета с объявлениями
to pay respect (to) - обращать внимание (на)
to make some men feel annoyed - вызывать у некоторых людей раздражение
Esq. = Esquire - эсквайр (зд. дворянское звание)
instead of - вместо (чего-либо)
achievements - достижения
Exercise 1. Give your opinion:
1. Which do you think is more to be respected, a man’s social position and wealth or his character and achievements?
2. Do advertisers in Russia use social snobbery? If so, can you give an example?
3. When a postman has to deliver letters to houses in a long street or road, why do houses with names and no numbers give him trouble?
Список использованных источников
1. Александрова Г.А. Английский язык: Учебное пособие для студентов-заочников. Псков, 2003 - 103 с.