Asterix bei den Briten

by Rene Goscinny (Autor)

Other authorsAlbert Uderzo (Autor), Gudrun Penndorf (Übersetzer)
Paperback, 1999



Call number



Ehapa Comic Collection (1999), Edition: 9, 48 pages


The Romans have invaded Britain, but one village still holds out. Asterix and Obelix come to help, with a barrel of magic potion in hand. But to deliver the precious brew, the Gaulish heroes must face fog, rain, bad food, warm beer, and the Roman, too.

User reviews

LibraryThing member souloftherose
One of the best Asterix comics/graphic novels (whatever you want to call them) that I've read. We have the French edition and I borrowed the English version from the library so that I could read the two side by side.

A special mention should go to Anthea Bell and Derek Hockridge who have done a
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superb job of translating the Asterix comics into English. A lot of the jokes in the original French are not easily translated but I think they did a great job of translating where possible or replacing otherwise.

A good example of this is the way the British speak in the story. When speaking French, one should put an adjective describing a noun after that noun rather than before it as we would do in English (e.g. le chat noir directly translates into the cat black whereas we would say the black cat). In the original French, Goscinny and Uderzo have the British speaking French but with the adjectives and nouns round the wrong way so to a French reader it would sound quite silly. Obviously, this wouldn't translate into English at all, so instead, Bell and Hockridge have the British speaking like Lord Pellinore from The Once and Future King and saying 'what?' at the end of every sentence ("Jolly good show, what?") which gives the same impression as the original French but in a way that's understandable to an English speaker.

Other gentle jibes at the British are the way everything stops for them to drink hot water with a little milk in at 5pm, the bad food (Obelix doesn't like boiled boar), the fog, rugby, warm beer and cold red wine. Of course, Asterix and Obelix win through against the Romans and the story ends with them happily back in Gaul after having introduced tea to the British.

Entertaining in whichever language you can read it.
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LibraryThing member scuzzy
Printed (in English) in 1970, four years after the original French publication, In Britain is the eight volume of the series, and as the name suggests has Asterix and Obelix travelling the English Channel to assist Asterix’s first cousin (once removed) in their battle against the Roman invasion
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occurring at the time.

This episode is one of the funnier books and is easily related to as the French obviously held the British in the same regard as the rest of the world and most of the mannerisms, colloquialisms and such are commonly perceived (either rightly or wrongly) the world over.

So the story happens when Anticlimax is sent to the Gaulish village (By his chief Mykingdomforanos, who looks very much like Churchill)to get help in their hold out of the invasion. Asterix and Obelix are duly sent to return with him looking after a barrel of magic potion made up for the Brits. But the Romans, as per clockwork, attempt to block their path and end up confiscating every barrel of booze in London in an attempt to locate the potion…it leads to funny anecdotes about prohibition, blackmarketeering, and the effects of alcohol.

While the story itself pans out to script, the many references to England and its ‘odd’ little ways is, like most volumes, the real fun in the story…finding them and understanding them. For example;

reference to a Channel tunnel (which wasn’t even started until 20-odd years later)
discussion about driving on what side of the road – the English on the right, the French on the left – in fact this issue didn’t actually arise until Napoleon so is more a dig rather than an accurate observation (at the time). There is also reference to the British pre-decimal currency and imperial measurements which is subtly humourous
stopping for tea (and its discovery), and not working weekends – using these ingrained habits of the Poms is cunningly exploited by Caesar who only fights at 5pm and on weekends to defeat them.
Rugby - read it and you’ll understand.
continuous piss-taking of the English weather – “Do you often get fog?” “Goodness no, old chap! Only when it’s not raining”
English equanimity “What, what?”
The Beatles
British cooking…boil everything and serve with warm beer


aside of those mentioned already, the chief is also in charge of tribes from Ireland and Scotland, portrayed by McAnix and O’Veroptimistix - and reference is made to the tight-fistedness of the Scots.
Stratocumulus, a returning Roman General
Encyclopaedicus Britannicus – Roman Governor in London
Dipsomaniax, of all things, an inn-keeper! Another inn-keeper is called Surtax.
In doing a little homework I found this little snippet of info which I found incredible;

The authors worried that, as had occurred with some of their books set outside of Gaul, they might receive complaints from British readers about the portrayal of their country. The following message was included in the original English release:
“As usual, we caricature what we are fond of, and we are fond of the British, in spite of their strange way of putting Nelson on top of their columns instead of Napoleon. However, when it comes to presenting this skit on the British to the British, we feel we owe them a word or two of explanation. Our little cartoon stories do not make fun of the real thing, but the ideas of the real thing that people get into their heads, i.e., clichés.
“We Gauls imagine the British talking in a very refined way, drinking tea at five o’clock and warm beer at the peculiar hours of opening time. The British eat their food boiled, with mint sauce; they are brave, phlegmatic, and always keep a stiff upper lip. Suppose we were British, caricaturing the Gauls, we would say they all wore berets, ate frogs and snails and drank red wine for breakfast. We might add that they all have hopelessly relaxed upper lips, and that phlegm is not their outstanding characteristic. And most of all, we should hope that the Gauls would have as good a sense of humour as the British.”
The authors reported that, in comparison with other countries that Asterix visited, they received no complaints from the Britons regarding the book.
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LibraryThing member theboylatham
Seven out of ten. CBR format.
The Romans have invaded Britian but one village holds out. Asterix and Obelix come to help with some magic potion.
LibraryThing member mimal
autumn-2013, amusing, series, published-1965, art-forms, shortstory-shortstories-novellas, tbr-busting-2013
Read from August 01 to September 09, 2013

rosado> walkies!
LibraryThing member Chris.Graham
Loved the take on the British love of tea.
LibraryThing member David.Alfred.Sarkies
I did not find this particular album as good as some of the other ones that I have read, though it has nothing to do with the writer's portrayal of the British. In fact, compared to the way the Simpsons did their episode on Australia (which, as an Austalian, I found incredibly insulting) I don't
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think they did that bad a job (but then again, I'm not British). Okay, I didn't get the whole joke about boiled meat (I was expecting Fish and Chips if you know what I mean, I thought that was the traditional English meal) but I did get the jokes about warm beer and hot water, as well as the fog and the fact that when it wasn't foggy, it was raining.
Julius Ceaser, having conquered Gaul, has decided that he will now turn his sights to the island that lays just across the Mere Brittanicum. Basically the Britons had been helping the Gauls fight the Romans during the invasions, so Ceaser decides that he will cross the channel and subjugate what would be a potential for further rebellion against Roman rule. The Britons turn out to be pretty hardy fighters, except that at 5:00 pm on the dot they all stop fighting to have their cup of hot water, and that they will refuse to fight on two days out of every seven, because it is the weekend. Ceaser, always the opportunist, decides that the best time to fight the British is at 5:00 on the dot, and on the weekend, so victory is assured, that is, all except one little village that seems to be holding out.
As it happens, one of the villagers, Anticlimax, happens to have a first cousin (once removed) who lives in a little village that has been holding out against the Romans for quite a long time, and because it will only be time before the Romans subdue this little village, he decides to go to visit his cousin (who happens to be Asterix) for some help. Always willing to help out people fighting the Romans (and also because all of the Romans have gone over the channel to Britain) they take a cask full of magic potion and cross the channel to help.
There are a lot of interesting jokes floating around here, particularly to those of us who are familiar with Ancient History. As it turns out, people have been planning on building a tunnel under the English channel as far back as Roman times (and at the time of writing, the Euro Tunnel had not yet been built, and in fact I believe that the tunnel itself is still very new, in relative terms). We also meet Bodiecia, who happens to live in one of those houses on those streets were all of the houses pretty much look the same, and we even get to go to a rugby match (and it is very amusing when they happen to land up with some of the magic potion).
As I said, while this was a great little adventure, and funny in parts, it did not seem to catch me as much as some of the other albums had. On the other hand, the author's use of names, such as calling the Roman governor Encyclopedius Brittanicus, was what one could expect from these albums. What would have been interesting though is to see how the original French constructed the English language because I doubt the writers would have written it in English, however the way the English translation came out was still quite amusing.
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LibraryThing member BrynDahlquis
Asterix and the gang are always good for a laugh. In this adventure, he and Obelix visit Britain and experience all of the weirdness that the Britons take part in! Lots of fun.
LibraryThing member amanda4242
I read a lot of British literature so I've grown used to seeing the British poking fun at the French, but I think Asterix in Britain is the first time I've seen it the other way around. It is hysterically funny, with Asterix and Obelix commenting on the weather, the food, and the strange habit of
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their British comrades to drop everything at the same time every day to have a hot drink.
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LibraryThing member leslie.98
And the fun continues as Asterix and Obelix go to help Asterix's cousin when Julius Caesar invades Britain.


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