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During the 120 years covered by this book, the Scots, Welsh, English, and to some extent the Irish began to think of themselves as Britons. Many forces combined to create this new identity in the minds of these people. One of the most important was the almost-constant warfare against France, and hence the need for protected shipping made British identity an economic advantage for the Scots. Fear of invasion and the need for soldiers helped expand the roles of ordinary men and women and at the same time increased their feelings of patriotism. Colley has reinterpreted some old theories and offers evidence to support her views. She also shows that some changes that seem to have been sudden actually were part of the logical progression of these early movements. Recommended for academic and large public libraries.-- Marilyn Dailey, Natrona Cty. P.L., Casper, Wyo.

"It was Colley's clinical analysis of the political and cultural construction of 18th-century Britain which did so much to kick-start our debate about national identity. The clarity of her prose and cohesiveness of her argument remain bewitching." Tristram Hunt, BBC History Magazine "Controversial, entertaining and alarmingly topical... Not only scholarly, but witty, lively and a delight to read. A book that could hardly present complex and challenging argument with greater lucidity and grace." Philip Ziegler, Daily Telegraph "A very ambitious book.... The general reader cannot fail to enjoy it and the professional historian will be stimulated by it." J. H. Plumb, Financial Times "A book written with such gusto and verve that even a non-academic reader drives through its pages with ease." Angela Lambert, Independent "A remarkable amount of light is shed upon current and coming events by this new study of that elusive thing, the nation... A lavishly researched and illustrated narrative." J. Enoch Powell, Spectator "In this brilliant book... Dr. Colley tells this story with scholarly punctilio, yet also with the brio of an historian who has something serious to say. Time and time again, the arresting connection or the startling detail makes one see familiar ground from a new perspective... It is a rich and stimulating work, which uses illustrations, mainly the cartoons and portraits of the day, with more precise and telling point than any history book I can remember." Hugo Young, The Guardian "A forceful and eloquent analysis of the 'subject, no citizen' mind-set which bound the English, Scots and Welsh together. Impressive prose, and sharp interpretation of visual material, compelled assent." Christopher Harvie, Times Literary Supplement "Challenging, fascinating, enormously well informed." John Barrell, London Review of Books"

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