Englishness is an ancient and powerful concept, but no one seems sure exactly what it means in the twenty-first century. In exploring our national identity, Tony Thorne has compiled a fascinating compendium of the hundred words and phrases that have become the cornerstones of modern English, and have been used - sometimes deliberately, but often inadvertently - to stake out our common ground, to define what makes us essentially English, and thus different from those beastly foreigners who lurk just off our shores.
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