BRITISH CULTURE: WHAT IT GAVE THE WORLD
Great Britain is generally known as the country of reserved people with good taste, with a healthy conservatism in everything, including culture. Great Britain has never shocked the world with outrageous revolt in music like America did. But London could fairly claim being the classical music capital of Europe with its five symphony orchestras and high standards of performance. Britain has never been known for its great classical performances, but it has been able to attract world best performers and composers like Johann Christian Bach, the youngest son of the famous German composer, Handel and Haydn. Haydn’s symphony No. 104 is actually nicknamed the London Symphony. British composers of this century, born in London and maintaining classical trends in music are, among others, Benjamin Britten and Epton John. Most classical music performers know that the invitation to perform in the famous Albert Hall or Royal festival Hall is the sign of the universal recognition. Over years, English musicians have had an enormous impact on popular music – much greater, strangely, than their influence on "serious” music. The Beatles, the famous "Liverpool Four” , appeared after none the less famous Cliff Richard, who mainly imitated the style of Elvis Presley. Their style – turbulent and concerned not only with a catchy motive, but with a deep contents, gave rise to a long row of bands like the Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd and some others. Young people from other countries often learned the English language specially to be able to understand their songs. Literature of Great Britain is also worth learning English specially to be able to read it. William Shakespeare’s tragedies "Hamlet”, "Othello”, "King Lear” and others, as well as his sonnets, have entered the world’s treasure-house of literature. The writers of the 19th century, Conan Doyle and Dickens have created personages whom many people believe to be real. Letters from different countries of the world still come to the address where Conan Doyle’s world-famous character, Sherlock Holmes lived. The world readership enjoys literary works by Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wild – the writers whose outstanding subtle humour and wit have never been surpassed. Biting satire by William Thackerey, sentimental, mild and romantic novels by Emily and Charlotte Bronté, humorous, sad and romantic stories by Steven Leacock, Hector Munro, Jerome K. Jerome, are only gaining popularity in the course of time and inspire film directors of different countries to make new screen versions of their books. British museums is also something on the one hand specifically English, and integrated in the world culture, on the other hand. One of the examples is Madam Tussauds’ Wax Museum. The idea has been picked up and now the production of wax figures has become the world-wide industry. So in many ways British culture has become an indispensable part of world culture as well.