Why are English train seats so narrow? It's all the Romans' fault. The first Victorian trains were built to the same width as horse-drawn wagons; and they were designed to fit the ruts left in the roads by Roman chariots. This intriguing and witty book explains how our national characteristics - our sense of humour, our hobbies, our favourite foods and our behaviour with the opposite sex - are all defined by our nation's extraordinary geography, geology, climate and weather. You will learn how we would be as freezing cold as Siberia without the Gulf Stream; why we drive on the left-hand side of the road; why the Midlands became the home of the British curry. It identifies the materials that make England, too: the faint pink Aberdeen granite of kerbstones; that precise English mix of air temperature, smell and light that hits you the moment you touch down at Heathrow.