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Identity of England - Robert Colls

Identity of England

Paperback Published: 1st July 2004
ISBN: 9780199269945
Number Of Pages: 426

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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 in modern times the English nation survived shattering 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 to running 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.

Industry Reviews

`Review from previous edition Colls' probing new study shows that the English have been reinventing themselves all along... A fine and engagingly personal book.' BBC History Magazine `One of the most interesting history books for some years.' The Good Book Guide `A rigorously scholarly account of why England and the English are as they are... One of the finest books on this complex and difficult subject it is possible to imagine.' Literary Review `Provocatively argued and pungently expressed.' Stephen Howe -The Independent `A totally fascinating sweep across the subject.' Melvyn Bragg

Introduction Building the Nation 1: The Law Becomes You 2: Uniting the Kingdoms 3: Constituting the Modern Nation Extending the State 4: Modern Gentlemanly Progress 5: The Nation over Itself 6: Colonials 7: Women and Workers 8: Loyalties Post-Imperial Reformation 9: Forward March Halted 10: Imagined Nation 11: Reconstituting the Nation Bridgehead Building the Homeland 12: England as a Garden 13: Wasteland 14: Island 15: Natives 16: Journeys Absorbing the People 17: Celts 18: National Properties 19: Common People 20: Left-over People England Now 21: Anarchy in the UK? 22: Thinking with England Conclusion Select Bibliography Index

ISBN: 9780199269945
ISBN-10: 0199269947
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 426
Published: 1st July 2004
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.88  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.67