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English and British national identity in the Arts

Morra, Irene ORCID: 2022. English and British national identity in the Arts. Stroeher, Vicki P. and Vickers, Justin, eds. Benjamin Britten in Context, Composers in Context, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 303-310. (10.1017/9781108634878.035)

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Throughout much of his career, Benjamin Britten was acclaimed both as the most significant English composer in centuries and as an artist whose music embodied an innate Englishness. Notwithstanding the subject matter and sources of many of his works, Britten himself resisted association with what were often vague – and frequently contradictory – assumptions about the very definition of that Englishness. While Britten accepted commissions from major national institutions throughout his career, he was also openly suspicious of prevailing attempts to align contemporary creative expression with a proudly English or British identity. This essay explores the origins of those attempts in the nineteenth century and traces some of their most prominent, influential manifestations in the institutions and artistic practices of the twentieth century.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781108634878
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 11:06

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