Why did the Anglo-Saxons not become more British?


Why did the Anglo-Saxons not become more British?

Bryan Ward-Perkins

English Historical Review, Vol.115:462 (2000)

Ethnic and national identities have historical roots, both in the complex concatenation of events that brought them into being, and in the simplified historical myths by which they are sustained. The origins of peoples and nations have, therefore, always been a fertile subject for historical research. Within this broader framework, recent uncertainties over the future of the United Kingdom (as it faces both internal devolution and European integration) have encouraged a particularly active debate on die origins, development and persistence of the various national and ethnic identities of the British Isles. For early England, interesting work has been done on the emergence of a single kingdom in the tenth century, and on the slow growth of a unified sense of ‘Englishness’ among the various peoples and kingdoms whom modern scholarship, for convenience, lumps together under…

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