Culture of England

From Academic Kids

The Culture of England is sometimes difficult to separate clearly from the culture of the United Kingdom, so influential has English culture been on the cultures of the British Isles and, on the other hand, given the extent to which other cultures have influenced life in England.



Main article: English art

English art is a term referring to a vast body of art originating from the geographical region presently referred to as England. This results in the term being almost indefinable, although Nikolaus Pevsner attempted a definition in his 1956 book The Englishness of English Art.

Originating with cave painting, it has developed over millennia to several current movements, such as Brit art, and encompasses all forms - painting, sculpture and performance art.

Famous English artists presently working range from Lucian Freud and Damien Hirst.

Oil painting came comparatively late to England. Hans Holbein, an imported talent, is generally credited with founding an English school of portrait painting. The rich ecclesiastical decoration of English churches was, in great measure, lost during the iconoclasm of the Reformation.

And although Charles I of England built up a great royal collection of art, the disposal of these treasures during the English Commonwealth and the subsequent democratisation of society meant that the patronage of the state never formed great palace collections such as seen in other European states.

It is often considered that English landscape painting typifies English art, mirroring as it does the development of the country house and its landscaping.


Main article: British cuisine


Main article: English folklore

English folklore is the folk tradition which has evolved in England over a number of centuries. Some English legends can be traced back to their roots, even as far as before the Roman invasion of Britain, while the origin of others is fairly uncertain or disputed. England abounds with folklore, in all forms, from such obvious manifestations as the traditional semi-mystical Arthurian legends and semi-historical Robin Hood tales, to contemporary urban myths and facets of cryptozoology such as the Beast of Bodmin Moor

Morris dance and related practices such as the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance preserve old English folk traditions, as do Mummers Plays.

Most folklore traditions are no longer widely believed. Whereas some folklore legends were formerly believed nationally across the whole of England, most can generally be divided into regional areas of England:


Main article: English literature

The term English literature refers to literature written in the English language, or literature composed in English by writers who are not necessarily from England. Joseph Conrad was Polish, Robert Burns was Scottish, James Joyce was Irish, Edgar Allan Poe was American, Salman Rushdie is Indian. In academia, the term often labels departments and programs practicing English studies. This new label was necessary not only because all of England's former colonies have developed literatures of their own, but also because each speak their variety of English. In other words English literature is as diverse as the Englishes that are spoken around the world.


Main article: Music of England

England has a long and rich musical history. The United Kingdom has, like most European countries, undergone a roots revival in the last half of the 20th century. English music has been an instrumental and leading part of this phenomenon, which peaked at the end of the 1960s and into the 1970s.


The Church of England functions as the established church in England. Other churches which have started in England include the Methodist church, the Quakers and the Salvation Army.

See also Religion in the United Kingdom.

Sport and leisure

Cricket and football are generally considered the national games.


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