People everywhere seem to have the same image of what an English Gentleman is, and in The English Gentleman: An Illustrated Guide, we learn why that is so and other fun facts.
If you’re not a born and bred Englishman or woman, and someone asked you to describe an English gentleman, you’d probably say what countless others have done and still do: he’s a rich, well-mannered banker, “wearing a dark [bespoke tweed] suit, a tie, a bowler hat, carrying a briefcase” and black umbrella, who opens doors for ladies.
That Victorian Era image, pervasive the world over, has been reinforced in television (The Forsyte Saga), film (The Importance of Being Earnest), and literature (Sherlock Holmes), and even music (“Englishman in New York”) and adverts (the old Grey Poupon commercials).
However, the archetype came into existence centuries before the reign of Queen Victoria, during which time the notion of the English gentleman was exported far and wide by English “schools, sport, works of fiction, and the British Empire.”
The English Gentleman: An Illustrated Guide explores the history of the English gentleman — from the post-William the Conqueror era of the chivalric code, to the Hundred Years War and time of the Black Death, to the Victorian Era and today — and what it has meant to be one, through the ages as well as in contemporary society.
Featuring interviews with a variety of contributors — including bowyer Richard Head, College of Arms York Herald Peter O’Donoghue, menswear designer Sir Paul Smith, Coat Maker Paul Frearson of Savile Row tailor Henry Poole & Co, Jayesh Caghela of Lock & Co. Hatters, Jonathan Lobb of bespoke gentleman shoemaker shop John Lobb, Gentleman’s Coach Zach Falconer-Barfield, Oxford University Chancellor Lord Patten, and Jim Carter, Downton Abbey actor and chairman of the Hampstead Cricket Club — The English Gentleman: An Illustrated Guide is a fascinating look at this icon of Englishness.
Released on the 1st of January, The English Gentleman: An Illustrated Guide is confirmed for airing on the following public TV stations. Check your local listings or contact the station that serves your area for broadcast details. For additional information, contact American Public Television.