Asterix in Britain

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Asterix in Britain
(Astérix chez les Bretons)
Asterix in Britain (front cover - English edition).jpg
Date 1970
Series Asterix
Creative team
Writers Rene Goscinny
Artists Albert Uderzo
Original publication
Date of publication 1966
Language French
Chronology
Preceded by Asterix and the Big Fight
Followed by Asterix and the Normans

Asterix in Britain (French: Astérix chez les Bretons, "Asterix in the land of the Britons") is the eighth in the Asterix comic book series. It was published in serial form in Pilote magazine, issues 307-334, in 1965, and in album form in 1966. It tells the story of Asterix and Obelix's journey to Roman-occupied Britain.

Synopsis[edit]

Julius Caesar has invaded Britain and succeeded in his conquest; but a single village in Kent remains independent. One member of the village, Anticlimax, is dispatched to Gaul to enlist the help of Getafix the druid in providing magic potion for the British rebels. It is decided that Asterix (Anticlimax's first cousin once removed) and Obelix should accompany him, to help transport a barrel of the potion; but while beating up a Roman galley in the English Channel, Obelix mentions the mission, which is reported to the Roman high command in Britain.

In Britain, the barrel of potion is confiscated from a pub cellar, along with all the barreled "warm beer" (bitter) and wine in Londinium, by the Romans, who set about tasting the barrels to find the right one. Soon the whole unit assigned to the testing is hopelessly drunk; whereupon Asterix and Obelix steal all the barrels labelled with Dipsomaniax's name, but Obelix is himself drunk and starts a fight with some passing Roman soldiers. During the commotion a thief steals the cart with the barrels. Anticlimax and Asterix leave Obelix at Dipsomaniax's pub to sleep off his hangover; but while Anticlimax and Asterix go in search of the thief, the Romans capture the sleeping Obelix and Dipsomaniax, and raze the pub. In the Tower of Londinium, Obelix wakes up and frees himself and Dipsomaniax out of the jail, and the three heroes, after a search, find the potion in use as a pick-me-up for a rugby team. After this team wins their game, the protagonists seize the potion and escape on the river Thames, where the Romans destroy the barrel and release the potion into the water. At the independent village, Asterix eases the Britons' disappointment by feigning to remake the potion, with herbs later revealed to be tea. With a psychological boost, the village prevails against the Romans, and Asterix and Obelix return home to celebrate.

Notes[edit]

  • In both the book and the cartoon, the blue and white uniforms of the Camulodunum team[1] are identical to the modern home kit of Colchester United FC.[2][3]
  • The chief of Anticlimax's tribe is a caricature of Winston Churchill.[4] The Beatles also make a cameo appearance as bards.[5]
  • Although many books in the series deal with other European peoples, Britain is one of only two where the book starts with a note from the authors that they are not looking to insult their famous rivals (the English) but to merely make fun of the common stereotypes.[6] The other book given similar treatment is Corsica.[7]
  • In Anthea Bell's and Derek Hockridge's English translation, the linguistic difference between the Gauls and the Britons is shown by some of the Britons (especially Anticlimax) talking exclusively in stereotypical "upper class" English, including expression such as "This is a jolly rum thing, eh, what?" and "I say, rather, old fruit". In particular, Anticlimax's frequent use of "what?" makes Obelix ask "What do you keep saying what for?"[8]

Adaptations[edit]

In other languages[edit]

Asterix in Britain has been translated into Asturian, Bengali, Bosnian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Irish, Latin, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, and Welsh.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Analysis of Asterix in Britain". Asterix.openscroll.org. Retrieved 2017-10-18. 
  2. ^ "Colchester United official website". Cu-fc.com. Retrieved 2017-10-18. 
  3. ^ Asterix in Britain cartoon on IMDB
  4. ^ Pannor, Stefan. "Gaststars in Gallien". Spiegel Online. SPIEGEL GRUPPE. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  5. ^ "The Beatles as bards". Retrieved 2017-10-18. 
  6. ^ Michela Canepari (15 May 2014). An Introduction to Discourse Analysis and Translation Studies. EDUCatt - Ente per il diritto allo studio universitario dell'Università Cattolica. pp. 394–. ISBN 978-88-6780-269-2. 
  7. ^ "Astérix en Corse". Racines Corses. FabriceCourt.com. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  8. ^ Rowland, Oliver (22 April 2010). "Making Asterix funny in English". The Connexion. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  9. ^ Asterix in Britain on IMDB
  10. ^ Asterix and Obelix: God Save Britannia
  11. ^ "Asterix in Britain". WorldCat. WorldCat. Retrieved 27 December 2017.