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Synopsis

This broad-ranging study explores the nature of national sentiment in fourteenth-century England and sets it in its political and constitutional context for the first time. Andrea Ruddick reveals that despite the problematic relationship between nationality and subjecthood in the king of England's domains, a sense of English identity was deeply embedded in the mindset of a significant section of political society. Using previously neglected official records as well as familiar literary sources, the book reassesses the role of the English language in fourteenth-century national sentiment and questions the traditional reliance on the English vernacular as an index of national feeling. Positioning national identity as central to our understanding of late medieval society, culture, religion and politics, the book represents a significant contribution not only to the political history of late medieval England, but also to the growing debate on the nature and origins of states, nations and nationalism in Europe.

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