British III done: recent work on Shakespeare and British, English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh identities

Maley, W. (2006) British III done: recent work on Shakespeare and British, English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh identities. Literature Compass, 3(3), pp. 487-512. (doi: 10.1111/j.1741-4113.2006.00322.x)

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This contribution to <i>Literature Compass</i> has a three-fold purpose. First, it aims to do what it says in the title, and flag up recent approaches to British identities in Shakespeare studies. Secondly, it seeks to remind readers of an earlier and now largely forgotten tradition of nationalist criticism and scholarship preoccupied with the place of Britain – nation, state and empire – that flourished in the 1920s and 1930s. Thirdly, it endeavours to excavate some of the more obscure material on the subject that, because of its place of publication, may have been overlooked. The material collected here covers issues of borders, colonialism, culture, genre, identity, invasion, language, mapping, monarchy, plantation, union, and the matter of Britain, especially in the histories, though as will be seen this work encompasses most of Shakespeare's corpus. The short introductions to each section and the accompanying bibliography of over 300 items, ranging from notes and queries to substantial essays, is divided into six sections, beginning with a brief overview of the historical debate, then focusing on criticism dealing broadly with Britain, then embracing material ordered by constituent nation: England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. That there is an even spread of material under this handful of headings suggests that each and every nation within this multi-nation state, as well as the problematic and often contested whole, has attracted its fair share of critical concern.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Maley, Professor Willy
Authors: Maley, W.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Journal Name:Literature Compass
Published Online:01 March 2006

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