Letter: English heritage

Nicolas Walter
Thursday 10 September 1998 23:02
Comments

Sir: Richard Hoggart (Saturday Essay, 5 September) protests too much about our national identity. We may be muddled about whether we are English or British, but our ancestors were muddled about whether they were Angles or Saxons: they settled for the former, but their Celtic neighbours still call us the latter. And those Celts are muddled, too: the "Welsh" were really British; the "Scots" were really Irish, and most Lowlanders were really English.

The claim that "the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live as the greatest he" was indeed made centuries ago - by Thomas Rainborow during the English Revolution - but it still isn't recognised; look at the homeless in our cities or the travellers in our countryside.

No, our main characteristics are that we are relatively safe and relatively rich, which is why most of us are fairly - but not very - nice.

NICOLAS WALTER

London N1

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in