The Tudor era has long been associated with the rise of nationalism in England, yet nationalist writing in this period often involved the denigration and outright denial of Englishness. Philip Schwyzer argues that the ancient, insular, and imperial nation imagined in the works of writers such as Shakespeare and Spenser was not England, but Britain. Disclaiming their Anglo-Saxon ancestry, the English sought their origins in a nostalgic vision of British antiquity. Focusing on texts including The Faerie Queene, English and Welsh antiquarian works, The Mirror for Magistrates, Henry V and King Lear, Schwyzer charts the genesis, development and disintegration of British nationalism in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. An important contribution to the expanding scholarship on early modern Britishness, this study gives detailed attention to Welsh texts and traditions, arguing that Welsh sources crucially influenced the development of English literature and identity.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 310 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 12 mm
Review of the hardback: 'Philip Schwyzer's is a compelling study. He has explored a good deal of little-examined material ... He employs a wide range of theoretical and historical materials with care and precision ... this is a book that is ultimately more than the sum of its parts.' The Times Literary Supplement
"...no one with an interest in English and British identities, and in nationalism in general, can fail to find this book enormously stimulating. Beautifully written and cleverly conceived, it is one of the most important studies of the culture of early modern Britain."
- H-Albion, Krishan Kumar, Department of Sociology, University of Virginia