English Identity and Political Culture in the Fourteenth Century

English Identity and Political Culture in the Fourteenth Century

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This broad-ranging study explores the nature of national sentiment in fourteenth-century England and sets it in its political and constitutional context for the first time. Andrea Ruddick reveals that despite the problematic relationship between nationality and subjecthood in the king of England's domains, a sense of English identity was deeply embedded in the mindset of a significant section of political society. Using previously neglected official records as well as familiar literary sources, the book reassesses the role of the English language in fourteenth-century national sentiment and questions the traditional reliance on the English vernacular as an index of national feeling. Positioning national identity as central to our understanding of late medieval society, culture, religion and politics, the book represents a significant contribution not only to the political history of late medieval England, but also to the growing debate on the nature and origins of states, nations and nationalism in Europe.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 369 pages
  • 154 x 230 x 34mm | 679.99g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 3 maps
  • 1107007267
  • 9781107007260

Review quote

'Ruddick's confidence in exploring the evidence across such a range of sources in several languages marks this out as a bravura performance in critical analysis. No previous scholar has offered such a close reading of the evidence for 'national sentiment' as revealed in the records ... This book reaches new heights of intellectual sophistication.' Dr Peter Crooks, Scottish Historical Review 'Ruddick's calm, well-reasoned and sensitive approach to this slippery topic produces a survey which is both clear and richly illustrated, grounded in a convincing vision of political society, and alert to the ways in which rhetoric relates to political reality ... This book offers a rich and brilliantly crafted survey of English national identity, put together from a remarkable array of disparate sources.' John Watts, The English Historical Reviewshow more

About Andrea Ruddick

Andrea Ruddick is a Stipendiary Lecturer in Medieval History at Exeter College, Oxford. She has previously worked at the University of Cambridge and the University of York.show more

Table of contents

Introduction I. Historiography; Introduction II. Context, sources and methodology; 1. England as a territory; 2. Defining the English people; 3. Englishness: race, ethnicity and national character; 4. King, kingdom and people: the idea of England in political rhetoric; 5. Nationality, allegiance and subjecthood in the king's wider domains; 6. God and England: ecclesiastical rhetoric and a political theology of nationhood; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.show more

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