Lectures on Britain - 5 (Lectures on Britain), страница 2

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The Labour government approved theexpansion of BBC television services by the creation of a BBC4 channel (cultureand the arts) and two channels for children.A large number of the programmes shown on television are made in Britain,although there are also many imported American series. A few programmes comefrom other English-speaking countries, such as Australia, New Zealand andCanada.Although British television has a high reputation abroad, lately the bias of someprograms is changing. At the moment there is a lot of criticism about sex, violenceand bad language on British television. A Broadcasting Standards ComplaintsCommission monitors programmes, examines complaints, establishes codes ofconduct for the broadcasting organizations.Reuters News Agency is an international news agency headqutered in London.

Itoperates in more than 200 cities and offers quick and easy access to hot news inabout200languages.Answer the questions:1. What does the term “media” include?2. What is the reason why the British continue to buy and read newspapers in ourinternet age?3. Which categories are the British newspapers divided into?4.

Do you know any names of the British newspapers or magazines (journals)?5. What are the main British radio and television channels?6. What is the BBC service? 7. What is Reuters?Culture of the UKThe culture of the United Kingdom is rich and varied. Although the country issmall (130,423 square kilometers) there is a great difference between South, Westand North. The most places of interest are situated in South and especially inLondon.

There is a sentence “When a man is tires of London he is tired of life”.There are so many things to see in London! To describe all sights of the UK weneed too much time therefore I want to talk only about the most popular andinteresting ones.To begin with –The Tower of London, situated close to the river Thames. TheTower was built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror to enforce thepower of the Norman king. Over the time the complex was expanded and fortifiedwith 20 towers.

The Tower of London went through different periods. It was usedas home of several kings and later as a prison for political opponents. Importantprisoners were often locked there sometimes with their servants. Among famouspeople who were imprisoned in the Tower there was Thomas More before hisexecution.At the moment the Tower is a museum best known for its Crown Jewels and RoyalArmories, including the personal Armory of King Henry V111. The main entranceof the Tower is at the Byword Tower, where visitors can see so-called Beefeatersor Warders.

Dressed in historic clothes, they not only guard the tower but also givetours of the fortress. One of the Warders is called the Raven master, responsible forthe ravens that have been living there for centuries.There are plenty more to see in London.The Houses of Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster, is the seat oftwo British parliamentary houses with the famous clock tower known as Big Ben.The oldest hall of the Houses of Parliament is Westminster Hall, dating back to1097.Buckingham Palace is one of several palaces owned by the British Royal family.The Palace was bought by George 111 from the Duke of Buckingham from whomit takes the name. Buckingham Palace is one of the major tourist attractions inLondon. The colorful Changing of the Guards in front of the palace always attractsplenty of spectators.St. Paul’s Cathedral built by Christopher Wren from 1675 to 1711 is one of thelargest cathedrals in Europe.

Although it was not once destroyed by fire, it wasrebuilt and expanded. The last damage was made during the Second World Warwhen the German bomb spoilt the altar. Several famous people are buried in St.Paul’s Cathedral including the Duke of Wellington, who defeated Napoleon atWaterloo, Admiral Nelson, some other important people. Christopher Wrenhimself is also was buries in his cathedral.There are plenty of interesting museums in London. To begin with theBritish Museum dedicated to human history and culture. Its permanent collection,numbering over 8 million works, is among the largest and most comprehensive inthe world. The British Museum was established in 1753. Its expansion over thefollowing time was a result of the British colonial expansion.

There aredepartments of the multiple exhibits from all the countries of British formerdominions and colonies. The departments of Africa and Asia and Oceania coverover 75000 antiquate objects from Egypt, Greece and Rome Empires, Iraq, India,Sudan, including the best collection of Egyptian mummies.Drawing department presents works by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael,Michelangelo, Durer, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt, Claude and Watteau.Attached to the British Museum there is a Library where a lot of famous people goteducation ( Fredrick Engels, Vladimir Lenin, Charles Dickens).Besides the British Museum there are some other art Galleries where one can seepieces of art.

The most famous are the National Gallery and Tate Modern.The National Gallery is located in Trafalgar Square in London. Founded in 1824, ithouses a collection of over 2300 paintings dating back to the mid-13th century tothe 20th century and until today.Tate Modern holds the national collection of British art from 1900 to the presentday and the works of international modern and contemporary art.In London there is also National Portrait Gallery presenting the portraits andsculptures of royals starting with early Tudors, scientists, politicians and othercelebrities, including the most famous portrait of William Shakespeare.There are some other impressive art museums in different areas of the country.E.g., the National Museum of Scotland with collections of Scottish antiquities,culture and history.

Science Museum is the home to the most magnificentcollections of science, industry, technology and medicine (300000 objects. Amongthem the first computer by Babbage).The special place among British Museums has the Museum by Madame MarieTussaud. Marie Tussaud learned modeling techniques from a skilled wax sculptorDr. Curtius for whom Maries’ mother was a housekeeper. In 1794 Dr.

Cutius died,and Marie inherited his business. Her talent became noticeable and she was invitedto make the death masks of Marie Antoinette, Lois XV1, Jean Paul Marat afterthey had been executed during the French Revolution. Life was difficult in Franceat that time and in 1802 Marie Tussaud made a decision to go to England and runthe exhibition.

She spent 33 years travelling in Britain, exhibiting her growingcollection of figures. Her two sons helped her in making wax figures (among themfigures of Lord Byron, King George 1V, Shakespeare, and Emperor Napoleon).When she was able to find a building in London, her collection began to grow withthe addition of what is called now the Chamber of Horrors, including famousmurders and monsters.

When she died in 1850 her portrait made 8 years before herdeath added her collection. At the moment Madame Marie Tussaud Museum isgrowing very fast, adding the most popular celebrities and remaining a worldfamous tourist attraction.The world’s largest museum of decorative arts and resign is Victoria and AlbertMuseum housing a collection of 4.5 million objects.The last museum which is absolutely necessary to mention is the one belonging toGreenwich Observatory displaying the astronomical and navigational tools andclocks including one of the most precise clocks belonging to Russian F.Fedchenko.The Royal Observatory itself is best known as the location of the prime meridian.The observatory is located on a hill in Greenwich Park, overlooking the RiverThames.As for the parks: the Kensington Gardens, the Botanical Garden Keys, Hyde Park.English TraditionsThere are Robin Hood Dances, when people dressed in Robin Hood costumesdance for the whole day visiting many farms drinking and eating a lot of food.What should one know on coming to England? First – a typical English breakfastdifferent from the continental one, a lunch (from 12 o’clock to 1 o’clock), fiveo’clock tea, dinner or supper (6-7 o”clock).

There are some traditional dishes suchas roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, and of course pies.British people spent less time cooking now then they used to do in the past. Eventraditional English breakfast is a bit of a myth today. Many people prefer to have abowl of cornflakes or a cup of coffee for breakfast. A lot of people unite twomeals: breakfast and lunch together (so-called “ brunch”).When British people goout for a meal, they very often go to their local Indian or Chinese, Italian orTurkish restaurant or buy a “takeaway” food. Very many still go to the pubs.

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