In Reply to: God's own country posted by ESC on April 07, 2009 at 21:36:
: : What is the origin of the phrase "God's own country". The following dialogue that appears in the 'The Razor's Edge'(Somerset Maugham) makes it appear as a reference to Americas.
: : " 'A propos, is that poor Larry still among the Redskins?
: : For that was the disrespectful way in which she was accustomed to refer to the inhabitants of God's own country"
: : Incidentally, in India it is currently taken as a reference to the state of Kerala, perhaps after a publication of a book under that title. Would someone be kind enough to explain the origin of the phrase in detail.
: Well, yes, America. God's country -- "A beautiful rural area, also the back country...alluding at first to an area considered especially favored by God, originated in the United States during the Civil War. A Union soldier who was imprisoned the South so referred to the North: 'If I could only get out of that horrible den, into God's country once more' (R.H. Kellogg, Rebel Prisons, 1865)." "Facts on File Dictionary of Cliches," second edition, edited by Christine Ammer, Checkmark Books, New York, 2006. Page 172.
Natives of Yorkshire, or at least the more belligerent stage-Yorkshire types, call it God's Own County.