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Contextual Lecture: Who do the English think they are?

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The English are often confused about who they are. They say ‘British’ when they mean ‘English’, and ‘English’ when they should say ‘British.’ But when England voted for Brexit in greater numbers than the rest of the UK, polls showed national identity was a big concern. So it’s time the English sorted out what it means to be English. Derek Taylor – returning after his talk last year on Magna Carta – looks back in history and discovers why the English have sometimes been eccentric, arrogant and snobbish, and at others respecters of democracy, stability and the rule of law.

Derek Taylor studied history and law at Oxford before joining ITN. As an on-screen correspondent, he reported from Northern Ireland, Rome, South Africa, the United States and the Middle East. He covered five wars and spend seven months in Iran during the Islamic revolution. In retirement, he combines his two passions – history and journalism – in his writing. His third book, a history of English national identity, has just been published by The History Press.