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An England of the mind

One historian's finely judged and heroically sustained account shows how the English invented their nation—and the idea of nationhood

By Alexandra Harris   February 2015

"The last time England was an autonomous state with its own laws was in the period between kings Alfred and Canute

Has there ever been so much talk of Englishness in England? The election year has begun with anxious exchanges about the Conservatives’ plans to introduce English votes for English laws. At the same time, the race is on to demonstrate that there are more inclusive—and more English—ways to…

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