What does it mean to be British? It is now recognized that being British is not innate, static or permanent, but that national identities within Britain are constantly constructed and reconstructed. Britishness since 1870 examines this definition and redefinition of the British national identity since the 1870s. Paul Ward argues that British national identity is a resilient force, and looks at how Britishness has adapted to changing circumstances. Taking a thematic approach, Britishness since 1870 examines the forces that have contributed to a sense of Britishness, and considers how Britishness has been mediated by other identities such as class, gender, region, ethnicity and the sense of belonging to England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

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