How to be a Brit

How to be a Brit

The Classic Bestselling Guide


Brought to you by Penguin.

George Mikes's perceptive manual for everyone who longs to attain True Britishness provides a complete guide to the British Way of Life. Having been born in Hungary, he eventually spent more than forty years in the field, and the fruits of his labour include insights on important topics including the weather, how to be rude and how to panic quietly.

Loved by readers and authors alike, How to Be a Brit contains Mikes's three major works - How to be an Alien, How to be Inimitable and How to be Decadent. If you're British, you'll love it; if you're a foreigner, you'll appreciate it.

- How to plan a town:
"Street names should be painted clearly and distinctly on large boards. Then hide these boards carefully."
- Queuing: "An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one."
- Sex: "Continental people have sex lives: the English have hot water bottles."

© George Mikes 1986 (P) Penguin Audio 2020


  • In all the miseries which plague mankind, there is hardly anything better than such radiant humour as is given to you. Everyone must laugh with you - even those who are hit with your little arrows.
    Albert Einstein to George Mikes

About the author

George Mikes

George Mikes (pronounced 'me-cash'), was born in Hungary 1912. In 1938 he moved to London to become the correspondent for a Hungarian newspaper, and then he never left. A keen observer of the behaviour and misbehaviour of foreigners and natives in Britain, he is frequently cited by later authors including Kate Fox and Jeremy Paxman. He died in London in 1987.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more