No doubts Colley is an excellent historian. In this book she asserts the difficult topic of British identities and the creation of a self-consciousness of what being British means. She links the past and present in some sort of connection making constant examples of how Britishness changed over time. Colley explores the foundations of British identities in 18th century Britain, how it was shaped by the constant fears of a French invasion and how it was affected by different social forces conveying into multiple voices of what being British means. The tone of the book is not nationalist. Colley simply tries to reconstruct the common places of the meaning of patriotism, as well as those uncommon things which also helped the common ones to be what they were. To put it in easy words: both the things that made British people share a certain way of living and understanding the world and the things that make them different between each other and in comparison to others. In the book women also play an important role, which has been underestimated by many authors in the past. The book is very easy to read (probably easier than this review!) and her approach to some subjects is highly controversial (which makes the book even more interesting) it is worth reading it!. (Captives, her other book is also interesting but have found this one more professionally written and a bit less novelistic). Finally, the book is very appropriate for the time we are leaving, in which Britishness is again on debate after the London bombings showed us the new challenges being faced by British identities in a changing world like the one we are living. Enjoy it!
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