Have you ever wondered how British humor can be so consistently different from American humor? After all, the two countries share a language and much culture. Re-reading the Bagthorpe Saga by Helen Cresswell, I suspect the difference may persist because the training starts very young in dry, witty, ridiculous British humor.
The Bagthorpe Saga started in 1977 with Ordinary Jack. It continued for over 20 years with ten books chronicling the bizarre, but highly entertaining Bagthorpes, including Bagthorpes Abroad (1984) and Bagthorpes Haunted (1985). It was made into a T.V. series in 1981, which is looking dated now, but the books are still hilariously funny.
Eponymous Jack is certainly ordinary, far too ordinary to live in his overwhelming and extraordinary extended family. His three siblings are “genii” with multiple talents they call Strings to their Bows. His prima donna father writes scripts for the BBC while his mother writes an Agony Aunt column for her Problem people. His…
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