Identity of England

Paperback | August 17, 2004

byRobert Colls

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The English stand now in need of a new sense of home and belonging - a reassessment of who they are. This is a history of who they were, written from the perspective of the twenty-first century. It begins by considering how the English state identified an English nation which, from very early days, seems to have seen itself as not simply the creature of state or king. It considers also how inmodern times the English nation survivedshattering revolutions in technology, urban living, and global conflict, while at the same time retaining a softer, more human vision of themselves as a people in touch with their nature and their land. They claimed that there was more to living in England than work and wages, there was more torunning a vast empire than just exploiting it. For all its faults and inequalities, they identified with their state. For all their shortcomings they were confident of their place in history.As little as forty years ago, these ideas were not much in doubt. Though vague and often contradictory, they held together as the English people held together -as a whole. Indeed, 'Englishness' was hardly recognized as a subject for analysis, except perhaps in a rather ironic and self-mocking vein.But now 'the national question' is back and history is at the top of the agenda. From a rich store of historical memory and possibility, Robert Colls connects the identity of England in the past with the changing and uncertain identity of England today.

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The English stand now in need of a new sense of home and belonging - a reassessment of who they are. This is a history of who they were, written from the perspective of the twenty-first century. It begins by considering how the English state identified an English nation which, from very early days, seems to have seen itself as not simp...

Robert Colls is a Professor, Economic and Social History, University of Leicester.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:426 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.93 inPublished:August 17, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199269947

ISBN - 13:9780199269945

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Table of Contents

IntroductionBuilding the Nation1. The Law Becomes You2. Uniting the Kingdoms3. Constituting the Modern NationExtending the State 4. Modern Gentlemanly Progress 5. The Nation over Itself 6. Colonials7. Women and Workers8. LoyaltiesPost-Imperial Reformation9. Forward March Halted10. Imagined Nation11. Reconstituting the NationBridgeheadBuilding the Homeland12. England as a Garden13. Wasteland14. Island15. Natives16. JourneysAbsorbing the People17. Celts18. National Properties19. Common People20. Left-over PeopleEngland Now21. Anarchy in the UK?22. Thinking with EnglandConclusionSelect BibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`A totally fascinating sweep across the subject.'Melvyn Bragg