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Patriotism, Power and Print:

National Consciousness in Tudor England

By Gillian Brennan

Patriotism, Power and Print

Patriotism, Power and Print:

National Consciousness in Tudor England

By Gillian Brennan

A study of national consciousness and literature in 16th-century England, exploring the nature of patriotism, its cultural expression, and propaganda uses.

Trade Information: JGEN
Available as: Hardback

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Print Hardback

ISBN: 9780227679623

Specifications: 244x162mm, 176pp

Published: May 2003


Gillian Brennan examines national consciousness, language and literature in 16th century England. She explores patriotism and discusses its nature, the different modes of cultural expression it finds, and analyses its use in political and religious propaganda.

The author draws a distinction between nationalism and patriotism, investigates the etymology of both words and sets out to examine the connotations of patriotism in its own right – not as being nascent nationalism. Surprising disparities appear between loyalty to the nation and loyalty to the crown and the author reveals the monarch's ambivalent attitude to patriotism and challenges the perceived unified national spirit in Elizabeth's reign by examining a range of literature of the period.

Patriotism in drama and in poetry is examined and in this way Brennan gives the reader a new and exciting perspective on many aspects of life and perception in the sixteenth century.


I. 'The comyn wele of the realm of Engelande':
     Patriotism, Politics and the State
II. From 'barbarous tongue' to 'copious and pithie language':
     The Educated Elite and the Vernacular
III. 'Casting pearls before swine':
     Translation into the English Language
IV. 'Diversity in tongue, language, order and habit':
     Tudor Governments and Minority Languages
VI. 'Albion's Champions':
     Patriotism in Sixteen-Century Drama
VII. 'The renouned Isle of Great Britain':
     National Consciousness in Sixteenth-Century Poetry
VIII. 'Hans van Belch' and 'bursten bellied sots':
     Foreigners in Sixteenth-Century Literature.


Gillian Brennan is a lecturer in History at St Helens College, Merseyside and has taught a Life, Thought and History course at Liverpool John Moores University. She has had a number of articles published on patriotism and language.