The Enchanted Glass: Britain and Its Monarchy

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9780099424413: The Enchanted Glass: Britain and Its Monarchy

Refusing to treat the Royal Family as a jokey left-over from feudalism or a mere tourist attraction, Tom Nairn sees the monarchy as both apex and essence of the British State, and presents an analysis of the specific "backwardness" that explains this phenomenon. The monarchy has been symbol and guarantor of Great Britain's peculiar entry into modernity: the first-comer unable to break free from its origins, and still bound to these by patrician rituals which no later developer has had to imitate. Instead, the Anglo-British evolved a pseudo- modern national identity around the Crown and its constitutional framework - the "parliamentary sovereignty" of Westminster.

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Review:

Dazzling, cliche-nailing - The first serious study for more than a hundred years to take a coldly analytical look at this most emotion-charged part of our heritage, it reflects a growing sense of the peculiarity of it all. --Observer

A long and brilliant meditation on the nature of the British state, its identity and national culture... one of the most powerful and original pieces of writing I have ever read on the subject. --London Review of Books

About the Author:

TOM NAIRN's many books include The Break-up of Britain, Faces of Nationalism and After Britain. He writes for, among others, New Left Review and the London Review of Books.

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