NINETEENTH CENTURY VIEWS OF “ENGLISHNESS.” (COMMENT). Tom Shippey, who is an authority on the languages of the British Isles, had a review in the Times Literary Supplement for October 17 of Robert J.C. Young’s THE IDEA OF ENGLISH ETHNICITY. Michael Byrne says in his comment that: “Most of the terms Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and Scandinavian and well as Ancient Briton as mere modern inventions made by people with their own view of history.” Shippey makes a related point: “Possibly it was Walter Scott who popularized the idea, often repeated, that ‘Englishness’ never really existed per se, being instead a roll-up term incorporating native Celt, long-established Saxon, invading Dane, and invading Norman….” I take it that “Englishness” then is a term arising in the early nineteenth century that gives a name to a complex product of local interactions over hundreds of years.

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  1. Nick says:

    In my Celtic History course, many scholars seemed to agree that the idea of a Celtic identity was a construction that developed in the 17th and 18th centuries. Scottish and Irish people invented the idea of a past golden age of Celtic Unity that never really existed. A lot of this was tied up with Catholicism as well, as sort of a uniting force against identities the English were trying to push on them.

  2. Elmer says:

    Wearing the kilt was invented in the early nineteenth century, according to a book called The Invention of Tradition. Elmer

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