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How a decade of conflict remade the nation
Author: Liam Stanley

When Britain left the European Union in January 2021, it set out on a new journey. Shorn of empire and now the EU too, Britain’s economy is as national as it has ever been. A decade or so since globalisation seemed inevitable, this is a remarkable reversal. How did this happen?

Britain alone argues that this ‘nationalisation’ – aligning the boundaries of the state with the boundaries of the nation – emerged from the 2008 global financial crisis. The book analyses how austerity and scarcity intensified and created new conflicts over who gets what. This extends to struggle over what the British nation is for, who it represents, and who it values.

Drawing on a range of cultural, economic, and political themes – immigration and the hostile environment, nostalgia and Second World War mythology, race and the ‘left behind’, the clap for carers and furloughing, as well as SuperScrimpers and stand-up comedy – the book traces the complex nationalist path Britain took after the crash, demonstrating how we cannot explain nationalism without reference to the economy, and vice versa.

In analysing the thread that ties the fallout of the crash and austerity, through Brexit, and to the shape of lockdown politics, Britain alone provides an incisive and original history of the last decade of Britain and its relationship to the global economy.

Liam Stanley

For the last three and a half years, this country has felt trapped, like a lion in a cage. We have all shared the same frustration – like some super-green supercar blocked in the traffic. We can see the way ahead. We know where we want to go – and we know why we are stuck. Boris Johnson, Introduction to 2019 Conservative Party Manifesto, Get Brexit Done: Unleash Britain's Potential

in Britain alone
Abstract only
Liam Stanley

-four years. When he was unable to provide documentation to prove his status, Marshall was given a stark choice: either arrange to pay the £55,000 cancer treatment upfront , or forego the treatment. Given that he had no savings, he only really had one option. Some years before, the NHS had treated Marshall for blood cancer lymphoma, and that was legitimate. His immigration status had remained consistent since then. So what had changed? The difference is that the British state had stopped providing free healthcare to ‘overseas patients’. A ‘health

in Britain alone
Twenty-first-century voices
Author: Sara Upstone

This text focuses solely on the writing of British writers of South Asian descent born or raised in Britain. Exploring the unique contribution of these writers, it positions their work within debates surrounding black British, diasporic, migrant and postcolonial literature in order to foreground both the continuities and tensions embedded in their relationship to such terms, engaging in particular with the ways in which this ‘new’ generation has been denied the right to a distinctive theoretical framework through absorption into pre-existing frames of reference. Focusing on the diversity of contemporary British Asian experience, the book deals with themes including gender, national and religious identity, the reality of post-9/11 Britain, the post-ethnic self, urban belonging, generational difference and youth identities, as well as indicating how these writers manipulate genre and the novel form in support of their thematic concerns.

Peter Holland

Trent shall run, In a new channel fair and evenly. ( 1 Henry IV , 3.1.95–100) In the politics of maps we are of course aware of the two crucial examples in Shakespeare, the map of England being divided up and redivided here in Hotspur’s irritation in 1 Henry IV and the map of Britain being divided up

in Shakespeare’s histories and counter-histories
Robert Duggan

Chapter 1 The contemporary British grotesque The object of this chapter is to give a brief account of the historical tradition of the grotesque in literature and the visual arts and so to develop, rather than a singular definition of the grotesque, a set of core qualities and theoretical debates in which the grotesque partakes and with which we can examine the works of Angela Carter, Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Iain Banks, Will Self and Toby Litt as well as the links between their texts. Through an examination of manifestations of the grotesque throughout history

in The grotesque in contemporary British fiction
Caesar under Thatcher
Andrew James Hartley

visceral response. The Britain of the 1960s and 1970s lacked the kinds of dominant political figures to make Caesar feel topical, but the 1980s and 1990s positively brimmed with analogues to the story of a dictator’s demise and its aftermath. The nation in which Ron Daniels’ 1983 production opened at the RST was as divided along lines of class, geography and race as it has ever been in the modern

in Julius Caesar
Author: Robert Duggan

Contemporary British writing moves in a variety of directions, and the object of this study is the exploration of a particularly fertile path some recent British fiction has taken. This book reveals the extent to which the grotesque endures as a dominant artistic mode in British fiction. It presents a new way of understanding authors who have been at the forefront of British literature over the past four decades. The book examines the history of the grotesque in visual art and literature together with its historical and theoretical accounts. Criticism historically has often represented the grotesque in the work of an author as the product of the personal habits and idiosyncrasy of the writer. Devoted to the late Angela Carter, the book considers the hallucinating characters, monstrous metamorphoses and disorientating play with perspective and scale that all point to the importance of the grotesque in fiction. Looking at the work of Martin Amis in the light of the grotesque in literature, it examines his novels Money: A Suicide Note and London Fields. The presence of the grotesque, with its characteristic contradictory elements, in Ian McEwan's fiction offers a sustained engagement with issues of subject formation. The grotesque provides a theoretical model capable of investigating both the principal narrative energies and the controlled structures of Iain Banks's fiction, acknowledging his place within the Scottish and wider European literary traditions of the grotesque. The book also looks at works of Will Self and Toby Litt.

Sanctity as literature in late medieval Britain explores how sanctity and questions of literariness are intertwined across a range of medieval genres. “Sanctity” as a theme and concept figures as a prominent indicator of the developments in the period, in which authors began to challenge the predominant medieval dichotomy of either relying on the authority of previous authors when writing, or on experience. These developments are marked also by a rethinking of the intended and perceived effects of writings. Instead of looking for clues in religious practices in order to explain these changes, the literary practices themselves need to be scrutinised in detail, which provide evidence for a reinterpretation of both the writers’ and their topics’ traditional roles and purposes. The essays in the collection are based on a representative choice of texts from the fourteenth to the early sixteenth centuries, covering penitential literature, hagiographical compilations and individual legends as well as romance, debates, and mystical literature from medieval and early modern England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. For researchers and advanced students of medieval literature and culture, the collection offers new insights into one of the central concepts of the late medieval period by considering sanctity first and foremost from the perspective of its literariness and literary potential.

Manu Samriti Chandler

Innocence the magic charm is, Keeping sorrow’s form at bay; By its influence, every harm is Banished ruthlessly away; Ill and danger fright her not, Happy is her simple lot. –E.M. 1 ‘By the Lake: An Indian Eclogue’ by ‘E.M.’ appeared in the British Guianese newspaper the Colonist in 1882 and was not, to my knowledge, ever republished. It did not really need to be. Its central trope – the Indigenous subject as innocent, childlike, and idle – is so often repeated in settler descriptions of native peoples, so

in Worlding the south