Letters to the Editor

On "In England's Dreaming"

Richard Harris, March 2018

To the editor:

I never thought I would leap to the defense of The Crown—in both meanings of the phrase—but Sam Wetherell’s article “In England’s Dreaming” (December 2017) provoked me. Wetherell lays charges at both the TV series and the institution. The series, he says, ignores anti-colonial sentiment. Apparently, he did not see the program in the second season, which focused on Kwame Nkrumah’s role in Ghana. Wetherell charges that we are shown the queen “attempting to override democratically elected representatives” when, in fact, we see her refraining from this, despite provocation. More generally, he criticizes the British nostalgia for faded glory. It is an old charge, now largely out of date—Brexit is about other matters.

He should look across the Atlantic for his targets. Judging from recent events, it is not Britain that is yearning for a more glorious past. No one laps up British historical dramas more avidly than Americans and, yes, Canadians too. The more troubling counterpart to what he calls the “hollering Commons” is the dysfunctional Congress. And we all know who has been most assiduous about overriding democratic institutions.

There are reasoned criticisms (and defenses) of all of the above matters to be made, but none are to be found in Wetherell’s choleric commentary.

Richard Harris
McMaster University

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