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Introduction

  • Rahel Orgis
  • Matthias Heim
Chapter

Abstract

The introduction relates the topical discourse on English nationality and nationhood in the context of Brexit to the longstanding tradition of envisioning England and Englishness in literary texts. It addresses the conflict between essentialist notions of a stable English identity and the historically changing perceptions of the English nation. These render Englishness a fundamentally unstable concept difficult to distinguish from Britishness for instance. The introduction further outlines crucial issues impacting negotiations of Englishness over time, such as religion, economy, landscape, the spectre of the “other” and language. It also highlights the importance of attending to gender questions and the role of women in nation discourse. The introduction ends with an overview of the individual contributions to the volume.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rahel Orgis
    • 1
  • Matthias Heim
    • 2
  1. 1.University of NeuchâtelNeuchâtelSwitzerland
  2. 2.University of NeuchâtelNeuchâtelSwitzerland

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