Performing Englishness: Postnational Nostalgia in Lark Rise to Candleford and Parade’s End
Cultural identity in England has been a major concern since the end of the Second World War. As the historian Linda Colley argues, ‘the identity of Britain only began to be seriously investigated (as distinct from being taken for granted) after the Second World War, a time when peace and imperial retreat fostered a highly introverted view of the British past’ (311). During the twentieth century, several issues — among them, the last vestiges of the Empire, economic decline, and social change — seriously undermined the classic sense of English identity (Kumar 250–1). Moreover, Britain appears to be currently immersed in a postnational era marked by the challenges of globalization, Europeanization and internal devolution. In this context, an analysis of the contemporary cultural forms that evoke an acute national sense through a highly idealized English way of life will allow us to understand the reasons why and how nostalgia protagonizes these representations.
KeywordsNational Identity Emotional Work Manor House British Heritage Period Drama
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