Englishness in Transition: Moving from the Imperial to the National



In this chapter I assess the transition from an imperial British identity, defined by the notion of a ‘greater Britain’ of nations connected by colonialism, to a localized British identity at the Empire’s former ‘centre’. Building on the analysis of British anxieties about the influence of American popular culture in the colonies outlined in Chap.  3, this chapter examines how Anthony Burgess and Colin MacInnes perceived post-war ‘Americanization’ as a threat to a unitary and distinctly English national identity. Rather than dramatizing the diminishing significance of Englishness, these writers extend early to mid-twentieth century cultural debates and respond to the trajectories of British imperial decline and American dominance by investing in a renewed national culture.


National Identity National Culture Mass Culture Game Show Fictional Play 
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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LeedsLeedsUK

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