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Popular Politics and Popular Culture in the Age of the Masses

Studies in Lancashire and the North West of England, 1880s to 1930s

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Jeffrey Hill

The book is a selection of essays from the author’s work since the early 1980s. It presents an analysis of political and cultural trends based upon a series of case studies drawn from the North West of England, covering mainly the years between the Third Reform Act (1884) and the outbreak of the Second World War. The region was a heavily industrialized one, seen by many as in the vanguard of changes that gave rise to what is often referred to as ‘modern’ society. In politics the emergence in North West England of a new labour consciousness is plainly evident, but so too is the survival and adaptation of older political allegiances, notably popular Toryism. The region is also renowned in cultural terms for the emergence of modern sport, examined here in relation to both association football and cricket. Keenly aware of the general political, social and cultural developments in Britain and elsewhere during these years, the author is also alert to their impact in particular localities. The theme of locality has been a recurring one in the author’s research, and the composition of this book reflects his changing approaches to it and to other, related issues of identity.
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← 269 | 270 → BRITISH IDENTITIES SINCE 1707

Extract

The historiography of British identities has flourished since the mid-1970s, spurred on by increasing national consciousness in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and since 1997 by devolution. Historians and other academics have become increasingly aware that identities in the British Isles have been fluid and that interactions between the different parts of the British Isles have been central to historical developments since, and indeed before, the Act of Union between England and Scotland in 1707.

This series seeks to encourage exploration of identities of place in the British Isles since the early eighteenth century, including intersections between competing and complementary identities such as region and nation. The series also advances discussion of other identities such as class, gender, religion, politics, ethnicity and culture when these are geographically located and positioned. While the series is historical, it welcomes cross- and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of British identities.

‘British Identities since 1707’ examines the unity and diversity of the British Isles, developing consideration of the multiplicity of negotiations that have taken place in such a multinational and multi-ethnic group of islands. It will include discussions of nationalism(s), of Britishness, Englishness, Scottishness, Welshness and Irishness, as well as ‘regional’ identities including, for example, those associated with Cornwall, the Gàidhealtachd region in Scotland and Gaeltacht areas in Ireland. The series will encompass discussions of relations with continental Europe and the United States, with ethnic and immigrant identities and with other forms of identity associated with the...

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