THE ENCHANTED GLASS
Britain and Its Monarchy

TOM NAIRN
448pp 2011 LIST PRICE: £12.99 (P) S348

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Description
In this anatomy of Britain’s relationship with its monarchy, Nairn deftly dispels the conviction that the Royal Family is nothing more than an amusing relic of feudalism or a mere tourist attraction. Instead, he argues that the monarchy is both apex and essence of the British state, the symbol of a national backwardness. Nairn’s powerful and bitterly comic prose lays bare Britain’s peculiar, pseudo-modern national identity – which remains stubbornly fixated on the Crown and its constitutional framework, the ‘parliamentary sovereignty’ of Westminster.

A long and brilliant meditation on the nature of the British state, its identity and national culture . . . one of the most powerful and original pieces of writing I have ever read on the subject. LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS