Great Britain also known as Britain, is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, off the north-western coast of continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world and the largest island in Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world and the largest island in Europe. With a population of about 61 million people in 2011, it is the third most populous island in the world, after Java (Indonesia) and Honshū (Japan). It is surrounded by over 1,000 smaller islands and islets. Politically, Great Britain refers to the island together with a number of surrounding islands, which constitute the territory of England, Scotland and Wales. The island of Ireland lies to its west.
- His expedition against the Britanni was celebrated for its daring. For he was the first to launch a fleet upon the western ocean and to sail through the Atlantic sea carrying an army to wage war. The island was of incredible magnitude, and furnished much matter of dispute to multitudes of writers, some of whom averred that its name and story had been fabricated, since it never had existed and did not then exist and in his attempt to occupy it he carried the Roman supremacy beyond the confines of the inhabited world
- "I am constantly filled with admiration at this – at the way you can wander through a town like Oxford and in the space of a few hundred yards pass the home of Christopher Wren, the buildings where Halley found his comet and Boyle his first law, the track where Roger Banister ran the first sub-four minute mile, the meadow where Lewis Carroll strolled; or how you can stand on Snow's Hill at Windsor and see, in a single sweep, Windsor Castle, the playing fields of Eton, the churchyard where Gray wrote his 'Elegy,' the site The Merry Wives of Windsor was first performed. Can there anywhere on earth be, in such a modest span, a landscape more packed with centuries of busy, productive attainment?"
- Bill Bryson, Notes from a Small Island
- What two ideas are more inseparable than Beer and Britannia?
- Rev. Sydney Smith, The Smith of Smiths.
- When Britain first, at heaven's command,
Arose from out of the azure main,
This was the charter of the land,
And guardian angels sung this strain:
“Rule, Britannia, rule the waves;
Britons never will be slaves.”
- James Thomson, Alfred: a Masque, II, V.
- The British tourist is always happy abroad as long as the natives are waiters.
- We were wrong to believe that the British are our friends. You are obsessed solely with yout own selfish interests and treat us as a people beyond the pale. But your attitude is a matter of profound disinterest. Your democratic system has already erupted into chaos. We shall soon overtake you and in a decade you will be struggling in our wake. Perhaps then you will remember how you treated us.
- Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, as quoted in Alam, Asadollah (1991), The Shah and I, I. B. Tauris, page 237
- I know about your [British] system of democracy, but in that system the workers 'hold keys of straw', as an expression of ours puts it. It is democracy for the capitalists, for the lords, but not for the workers. When we win we shall establish democracy, but not like that democracy of yours.
- The position of the United Kingdom is as usual so nuanced that it's difficult to see where they are on the spectrum, but look, that's what Britain's like and we all love being British.
- Fabian Picardo (2012)