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Title: Englishness in England and the ‘near diaspora’: organisation, influence and expression, 1880s-1970s
Author: Robinson, Lesley Clare
ISNI:       0000 0004 5356 3210
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2014
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The nineteenth and twentieth centuries are correctly viewed as the age of modem nationalism, a time when, in Europe, the United Kingdom, and beyond, this powerful cultural and political force firmly established itself. The story of nationalism in Britain and Ireland has, for the most part, been heavily documented by historians: the same level of academic scrutiny has not been extended to the English. Yet the assertion of a firm sense of Englishness, in an era when national identities appeared threatened by cosmopolitan forces within industry and empire building, is a notable development in the history of identity within the British Isles. This thesis explores English ethnic associations, and seeks to cast new light on English nationalism. The emergence ofthe Royal Society of St George (RSStG) in 1894 to orchestrate worldwide responses to nationalism, frames the thesis. For many ethnic groups, associations were the channel through which they celebrated their national identity. For the English captured in this study, the RSStG neatly articulated their sense of Englishness. Analysis of the Society's membership and activities illuminates the character of Englishness and the role it played in the homeland and in the 'near diaspora' within the UK, but beyond England itself. The work which follows draws upon a broad and disparate collection of sources. These include manuscript records of English associations, including the archives of the RSStG, the RSStG's journals, and an array of digitised newspapers, which were used to locate diffuse local instances of Englishness. Demonstrating that English identity was of central importance to many English people, manifested through their enthusiasm to subscribe to associations such as the RSStG, this thesis provides an original insight into Englishness and English identity-building and shows how, quite perceptibly, the English found their voice as a force within the field of national identities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available