The Making of Englishmen

Debates on National Identity 1550-1650


Making the Englishmen: Debates on National Identity 1550-1650 asks how Englishmen defined themselves at a time of profound change and uncertainty. It will seek to contextualise the ways in which Englishness came to be construed as free, plain and unCatholic, and situate this construction as part of a larger attempt to create a narrative which would distinguish them from the rest of Europe. But all such attempts were fraught with anxiety and contestation. The normative ideals of Englishness were constantly being undermined, affronted and ignored. In the disarray characteristic of the post-Reformation era, there were constant fears that the Englishman was becoming both slavish and treacherous in political, cultural and religious ways. Englishness was under threat.
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Biographical Note

Hilary Larkin, PhD Cantab., (2008) is currently an adjunct researcher at the University of Kansas at Lawrence.

Table of contents

Preface Conventions List of Figures Introduction PART ONE: THE PLAIN ENGLISHMAN 1. The Rise of an Ethos of Plainness 2. The Plain-Speaking Englishman A Language in Flux The Cult of Homespun Speech Politicisation of the Plain Englishman The Speech of Returned Travellers The Courtier’s Velvet Terms Discoursing Gestures 3. The Image of the Englishman The Politics of Appearances A Golden Age of Native Dress The Materials of Identity A World of Fashions Dressing the Head PART TWO: THE LOYAL ENGLISHMAN 4. The Development of an Anti-Catholic Narrative 5. The Estrangement of English Catholics Constructing a Plain, Protestant and Un-French Utopia The Alienation of the Jesuits The ideological battle against Spanishness Debating National Authenticity 6. The Fabrication of a Jesuited Mock Weal Catholic Reassertions of Englishness Staging Englishness and Jesuitism Machiavels and Mercuries in the Caroline Era The Triumph of a Stereotype PART THREE: THE FREE ENGLISHMAN 7. The Growth of a Rhetoric of Liberty 8. The Rights-Bearing Englishman Early Statements in Parliament The 1628 Synthesis of Rights Liberties as Popular Polemic The New Enemies of Liberty Revolutionary Implications 9. The Neo-Classical Englishman The Roman Tradition The Spectre of National Decline The Brink of Degeneration The Classical Republican Turn The ‘Fate’ of English Liberty Conclusion Bibliography Manuscripts Printed Primary Sources Secondary Works Index


For historians of ideas primarily - it is in the history of political thought series. Also aimed at historians of the phenomenon of nationalism/national identity. Historians of early-modern England and Britain. Cultural historians.