The Island Race

Englishness, Empire and Gender in the Eighteenth Century

by Kathleen Wilson

Rooted in a period of vigorous exploration and colonialism, The Island Race: Englishness, empire and gender in the eighteenth century is an innovative study of the issues of nation, gender and identity. Wilson bases her analysis on a wide range of case studies drawn both from Britain and across the Atlantic and Pacific worlds.

Creating a colourful and original colonial landscape, she considers topics such as:

* sodomy
* theatre
* masculinity
* the symbolism of Britannia
* the role of women in war.

Wilson shows the far-reaching implications that colonial power and expansion had upon the English people's sense of self, and argues that the vaunted singularity of English culture was in fact constituted by the bodies, practices and exchanges of peoples across the globe. Theoretically rigorous and highly readable, The Island Race will become a seminal text for understanding the pressing issues that it confronts.


  • Taylor and Francis; June 2014
  • ISBN: 9781136208577
  • Edition: 1
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: The Island Race
  • Author: Kathleen Wilson
  • Imprint: Routledge

In The Press

'Elegantly written and handsomely produced ... this is an important book that specialists and nonspecialists alike will find rewarding.' - American Historical Review

'Kathleen Wilson's detailed and lively study is ... theoretically rigorous and exemplary in its interdisciplinary approach, encompassing appropriate analysis of drama and poetry as well as a range of extremely well-chosen and intriguing prints and paintings ... This is a book which will appeal to scholars in a wide range of disciplines ... her work fills the reader with renewed enthusiasm for her subject.' - European Journal of English Studies