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Rooted in a period of aggressive exploration and colonialism, The Island Race: Englishness, empire and gender in the eighteenth century is an innovative study of the issues of nation, gender and identity. In the rapidly expanding eighteenth-century world, English perceptions of origin and heritage became altered - the question of national identity emerging as a particularly troubled and ambiguous issue. Wilson bases her analysis on a wide range of case studies drawn both from Britain and across the Atlantic and Pacific worlds. Creating a colourful and original colonial landscape, she considers topics such as sodomy, theatre, masculinity, the symbolism of Britannia and the role of women in war. Wilson shows the far-reaching implications that colonial power and expansion had upon the English people's sense of self, and argues that the vaunted singularity of English culture was in fact constituted by the bodies, practices and exchanges of peoples across the globe. Theoretically rigorous and highly readable, The Island Race will become a seminal text for understanding the pressing issues that it confronts.