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10Works Cited

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Tato diplomová práce se na základě analýzy primárních zdrojů zabývá tím, jak různé pojetí anglosaského období anglických dějin ovlivňovalo vývoj anglické identity, a to od té doby, kdy můžeme poprvé mluvit o anglické identitě, až po současnost.

Práce je rozdělena do osmi kapitol, přičemž každá z nich pojednává o určitém období anglických dějin. Nejprve je vždy představeno dané období, pak následuje shrnutí dosavadních poznatků o tom, jak se v této době vyvíjela anglická identita a jak bylo vnímána anglosaská minulost. Na závěr je vždy analyzováno jedno dílo vytvořené v daném období. Jedná se například o historické spisy, pamflety či literaturu pro děti.

Z výsledků práce vyplývá, že odlišné interpretace anglosaské minulosti sloužily různým autorům ke konstrukci různých anglických identit v mnoha, ačkoli ne všech období anglických dějin. Když se v devátém století král Alfréd Veliký obracel se svým vzdělávacím programem k Anglosasům, které sjednotil pod svou nadvládu, tvrdil, že obnovuje mocný anglický stát, proslulý vzdělaností. V pozdním středověku sloužila hrdinská anglosaská minulost k propagaci anglické národní identity, která soupeřila s jinými druhy identity, např. regionální identitou. Za vlády dynastie Tudorovců byla anglosaská minulost jedním z prostředků k zobrazení Angličanů jako protestantského národa. Během anglické občanské války vykreslovali revolucionáři Angličany jako potomky svobodných Anglosasů. V devatenáctém století pak nadřazenost anglosaské rasy vysvětlovala úspěchy Britského impéria.


The aim of this thesis was to investigate, via primary sources, the influence of different appropriations of the Anglo-Saxon past on the development of English identity from the earliest period that we can make reference to English identity until the present day.

For this purpose, the thesis was divided into eight chapters, each dealing with a different period of English history. After briefly introducing each period and summarizing what has been argued about the perception of the Anglo-Saxon past and English identity in this period, one work by a contemporary author was examined for each period, including historical accounts, pamphlets, and children’s books.

It was found that in many, though not all periods of English history, different interpretations of Anglo-Saxon past served the authors in constructing different identities for the English. When King Alfred the great addressed the Anglo-Saxons united under his rule with his education programme in the ninth century, he claimed to be renewing an English state reputed for its learning. In the late Middle Ages, the Anglo-Saxon past was used for promoting English national identity which competed with other types of identity, for instance the regional one. Under the reign of the Tudors, the Anglo-Saxon past served in constructing the English as a Protestant nation. During the English Civil War, the English were depicted by the revolutionaries as the descendants of the free Anglo-Saxons. In the nineteenth century, the superiority of the Anglo-Saxon race provided an explanation for the expansion of the British Empire.

1 Gildas was a 6th century British historian and a monk. This book of his is the most important source for fifth-century Britain, though it concentrates more on the downfall of the Britons and their conquest by the pagan Anglo-Saxons, caused by their sinfulness and the incapacity of their leaders, than on historical details (Magennis).

2 Witan (or Witenagemot) was the council of the Anglo-Saxon kings. It advised the king on the matters on which he chose to ask its opinion. It was composed of the greater nobles and bishops and its composition and time of meeting were determined by the king (“Witan”).

3 Arthur was a legendary prince of a British tribe who became famous thanks to defensive battles against the Anglo-Saxons at the beginning of the sixth century (Grabes 181).

4 Dissenters, as well as “Low Churchmen” were predominantly Whigs. They were opposed by the “highfliers”, the High-Church Tories (“Defoe”).

5 In fact, the pamphlet The Shortest-Way With The Dissenters was written in an ironic way: using the arguments of High-Church Tories, but bringing them to absurdity, he pretended to argue against the dissenters. However, both sides took it seriously, and Defoe was prosecuted for seditious libel and finally arrested (“Defoe”).

6 Linda Colley’s Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837 (1992/1994), Raphael Samuel’s Theatres of Memory (1994, 1999a), Stephen Haseler’s The English Tribe (1996), Adrian Hastings’s The Construction of Nationhood (1997), Norman Davies’s The Isles (1999), Simon Heffer’s Nor Shall My Sword: The Reinvention of England (1999), Jeremy Paxman’s The English: A Portrait of a People (1999), etc. (Kumar 251-52).

7 Yasmin Alibhai-Brown’s Who Do We Think We Are? (2000/2001), Edwin Jones’s The English Nation: The Great Myth (2000); The Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain (a Report of the Runnymede Trust, 2000); TV series A History of Britain (2000-01) and The Day Britain Died (2000), etc. (Kumar 251-52).

8 For instance John Blair’s The Anglo-Saxon Age: A Very Short Introduction (2003), Margaret Sharman’s Anglo-Saxons (2003), Haydn Middleton’s Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings in Britain (2005), Peter D. Riley Anglo-Saxon Invaders and Settlers (2005), Sally Hewitt’s The Anglo-Saxons (2006), Geoffrey Hindley’s A Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons (2006), Terry Deary’s The Smashing Saxons (2007), Maskell, Hazel and Abigail Wheatley’s Anglo-Saxons and Vikings (2010).

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