Another England: How to Reclaim Our National Story

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'A visionary book' Philip Pullman
'Essential and magnificent' George Monbiot
'Deft and wonderfully poetic' Grace Blakeley

The right have hijacked Englishness. Can it be reclaimed?

With the UK more divided than ever, England has re-emerged as a potent force in our culture and politics. But today the dominant story told about our country serves solely the interests of the right. The only people who dare speak of Englishness are cheerleaders for Brexit, exceptionalism and imperial nostalgia.

Yet there are other stories, equally compelling, about who we are: about the English people’s radical inclusivity, their deep-rooted commitment to the natural world, their long struggle to win rights for all. These stories put the Chartists, the Diggers and the Suffragettes in their rightful place alongside Nelson and Churchill. They draw on the medieval writers and Romantic poets who reflect a more sustainable relationship with the natural world. And they include the diverse voices exploring our shared challenges of identity and equality today.

Here, Caroline Lucas delves into our literary heritage to explore what it can teach us about the most pressing issues of our time: whether the toxic legacy of Empire, the struggle for constitutional reform, or the accelerating climate emergency. And she sketches out an alternative Englishness: one that we can all embrace to build a greener, fairer future.

'Not just an inspiring, nuanced and deeply literate book, but that rarest of things – a necessary one.' Jonathan Coe, author of Bourneville

'Cleverly deploys Elizabeth Gaskell, John Clare and Charles Dickens to demonstrate that a culture can be diverse and coherent, innovative and rooted; many stories told in one beautiful language.' Telegraph

'Reading this warm, persuasive book is to be confronted with the idea and reality of a decent, saner England. One perhaps possible in a fought-for future.' iNews

'A clarion call to define England and Englishness as our common ground, and a grounding for a transformation of politics and society.' Kate Pickett, co-author of The Spirit Level

'Tells a new story about England and Englishness, and sets out the possibility for a progressive politics of land, place and nation. This is vital reading.' Robert Macfarlane, author of Underland

'A progressive vision of the country’s literary and cultural history from the trailblazing MP . . . Offers much needed crumbs of hope for the future.' Guardian

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