Of navies and navels: Britain as a mental island

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    In this paper, the conception of .Great Britain. — a wholly unsatisfactory nomenclature — as an island nation is examined. In this case, a relatively small land mass acted as an originary point of departure for outward-bound Great Power projections across the open spaces of seas. This paper further explores the varied implications for nationalism within Britain of the diverse island 'roots' of the British navel and the 'routes' of British navalism. Three themes recur in the popular mobilization of British maritime island nationalism: the besieged island, the island as universal exemplar of civilization, and the navy as national protector. Some consideration is given to the significance of island symbols such as Britannia as a marker of the fate of great island nationalism
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)267-277
    Number of pages11
    JournalGeografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005


    • Nationalism
    • Settlement and movement
    • Natural and geometric boundaries
    • Island nations
    • Maritime identity


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