The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook: The First Guide To What Really Matters In Life by Ann Barr and Peter York.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

I’ve owned this book for a number of years, and have flicked through it many times, but never properly read it until now. Written by Ann Barr and Peter York, it was first published in 1982, when Prince Charles and Princess Diana were newlyweds, so it’s obviously dated, but I suspect things haven’t really moved on much in terms of class and attitudes.

The work is a close and totally hilarious examination of the life of a “sloane ranger“, following Henry and Caroline, their friends, family, and their children from birth through to death. No stone is unturned as we learn everything about upper class life.

The most important rules for how to be a sloane are covered first, including where you must live (usually an SW postcode), what really matters in life (background, the past, the status quo), language (no French derivations or Americanisms), and many other things.

The book isn’t meant to be taken seriously, it’s just a really really hysterical piece of literary satire. Light-hearted social commentary. Reading it won’t change your life, but it will stop you embarrassing yourself in front of an upper class person if you are about to ask for a handful of serviettes because there’s no paper in the toilet.

Recommended reading if you’re interested in the British class system, especially the upper class. It’s a quick and easy read, and you may actually learn something from it. One realisation I came to is that the working class and upper class have much more in common with each other than either does with the aspiring middle class.

View all my reviews.

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