Celticism and the Four Nations in the Long Nineteenth Century



This chapter examines ideas of the Celts—or ‘Celticism’—over the long nineteenth century, illustrating how Celtic ideas were a well from which intellectual and cultural elites from all four nations could draw. By tracing these ideas over the longue durée the chapter cuts against historiographical narratives that have portrayed the Celtic nations as inherently united by English oppression throughout the modern period. Instead, elites from the different nations competed amongst each other for the claim to be the true inheritors of the European Celtic legacy until the latter half of the nineteenth century, when pan-Celticism was erected as a movement purporting to unite the Celtic nations on the basis of a common racial inheritance.


Celticism Pan-Celticism Race Nationalism Intellectual history 

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of International HistoryLondon School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK

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