Now I know I can be a fussy individual when it comes to getting facts straight, but if there is one thing that does annoy me it’s when an author from a different country sets their novel in the United Kingdom and gets the very basic facts about the United Kingdom, UK, Great Britain, GB, Britain, The British Isles, England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Southern Ireland, The Republic of Ireland and Éire wrong. I’m proud to call myself English, British and European, and I’m also a Southerner from the South West of England, a Wessex lass and a Wiltshire Lass, but lets not muddy the water further! I’ll admit that the numerous names and ways the British Isles are divided up due to our murky history must be a bit confusing for people from other cultures and countries to understand if they are not given the correct facts. If I’m honest there’s plenty of British people that are unaware of the complexities of our own social, political and cultural history! So, whilst Alyssa Day’s Atlantis Betrayed is a rip roaring yarn and a worthy addition to her Atlantis series which I thoroughly enjoyed, I can’t help but feel a bit let down by her lack of due care to the facts and attention to detail in ensuring the country of the novel’s setting was portrayed correctly. It pains me, because with just a small amount of research, information readily available on the internet from various sources could ensure the true facts were displayed. I have to believe this to be well within the abilities of an ex-lawyer turned novelist and her team of publishers and editors. It’s sad to think that a lack of foresight has led to thousands of loyal fans outside of the UK being mislead on some very basic British facts. Therefore I’ve decided today to set the record straight on the facts that were wrong in Atlantis Betrayed:
- The currency of the United Kingdom (i.e.England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) is the British Pound (GBP) or Pound Sterling, it is not the Euro! Southern Ireland, (The Republic of Ireland) which is a separate country not governed under the United Kingdom elected to join the Euro.
- Though the United Kingdom is a member state of the European Union, the Euro is not an accepted currency, i.e. you will need to to a bank or foreign exchange desk to exchange your Euros for some Pounds to purchase goods and services in the UK. All UK cash machines (automated tellers) will only provide you with Pounds.
- England and English are not catch all terms for the United Kingdom! If you call someone who is Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish English or being part of England you are likely to cause offence! It would be like saying Canada is a state of the USA, because it is part of North America and calling everyone in the USA Texans, because they live in one of the other 49 states of the USA. So a key character claiming to be Scottish would take umbrage to any reference to the UK as England.
I hope that in any future re-print of what is otherwise a great story these facts will be corrected. If you do read the novel and I promise it is a fun read – please remember the three facts above when you come across the errors!