Takes the familiar characterization of the English as an 'Island Race' and shows how this concept is key to understanding British imperial history in the eighteenth century.
Rooted in a period of vigorous exploration and colonialism, The Island Race: Englishness, empire and gender in the eighteenth century is an innovative study of the issues of nation, gender and identity. Wilson bases her analysis on a wide range of case studies drawn both from Britain and across the Atlantic and Pacific worlds.
Creating a colourful and original colonial landscape, she considers topics such as:
* the symbolism of Britannia
* the role of women in war.
Wilson shows the far-reaching implications that colonial power and expansion had upon the English people's sense of self, and argues that the vaunted singularity of English culture was in fact constituted by the bodies, practices and exchanges of peoples across the globe. Theoretically rigorous and highly readable, The Island Race will become a seminal text for understanding the pressing issues that it confronts.
Preface and Acknowledgments; Abbreviations; Introduction: Nations, Empires and Identities in the Eighteenth Century; Chapter 1 Citizenship, Empire and Modernity in the English Provinces; Chapter 2 The Island Race: Captain Cook And English Ethnicity; Chapter 3 Britannia Into Battle: Women, War and Identities in England and America; Chapter 4 The Black Widow: Gender, Race and Performance in England and Jamaica; Chapter 5 Breasts, Sodomy and the Lash: Masculinity and Enlightenment Aboard the Cook Voyages; Epilogue: "Save the Stones" King Alfred and the Performance of Origins;