The game, you see, is to pick a royal house or cadet family branch and argue that they secretly invented England; before whatever team you’ve picked England cannot be said to truly exist, no matter how convoluted the reasoning. The previous kings styled themselves too French, or too Mercian, or thought about Spain more than was appropriate, and no one was England yet. Your guys made things England, and no matter what little mistakes England might have made along the way (and who doesn’t commit an indiscretion or two over the course of a long and loving marriage), someone had to make England, and we’ve got to keep having an England to think about, so we can make everything a slightly better England. Everyone’s King Arthur and everything’s Camelot, and no one’s going to shut up about it. It’s very England here, but it might be even more England just a little further down the road — let’s go give it a look for ourselves, just in case.
The obvious exception is Elizabeth I — although she is more personally identified with and as England than anyone else individually, that’s exactly why you can’t really claim she invented England, because there had to either already be an England for her to fall in love with, or she couldn’t have been married to England, could she have?
“A Covenant With Myself”: How the Plantagenet Dynasty Invented Compromise, Ended Antiquity, and Forged Modern Britain
Everyone Who Drowned On The White Ship in 1120 Invented England Shortly Before Dying
No. It Wasn’t The White Ship. They Barely Invented Anglo-Normans, It Was The Black Death That Invented England, By Killing Everybody That Wasn’t England
Uncommon Law: How Edward I Invented England, Letter-Writing, Modern Colonialism, Late-Stage Capitalism, The Bar, Treaties, Taxes, And Using Latin For Occult Scenes in Present-Day Horror Films
Across The Sea and Beyond It: How The Angevins Secretly Invented The Thames, Modernity, and the Dartford Crossing
The Tallest Poppy: The Lancastrians Who Created England As We Know Her, Because The Angevins Only Mistakenly Thought They’d Invented England But Hadn’t
How The Romans Invented The Tudors and Why No One Ever Told You
How Eleanor of Aquitaine Secretly Invented England But Never Told Anyone Because She Was So Disappointed In Her Sons
You Fool. You Monstrous Dullard, You Idiot-Captain. It Was The Hastings Who Invented England And Not A Moment Before 1461 Neither
Everybody. Everybody Shut Up As Of Now, Because It Was The Stuarts Who Invented Everything. They Crawled Out Of The Thames and Invented Little Strawberries and Barbara Pym and Ruthlessness and They’re Why We Won World War II
How The Vikings Invented England In Order To Kill It But Then Forgot To
You Can’t Make England Without Breaking A Few Britains: How The Hanoverians Really Invented England And Also Motherhood
The Warrior Queens of The Forgotten Illegitimate Mistress-Brothers and the Peasants’ Revolt: How Mary Queen of Scots Accidentally Invented Princess Diana and Very Nearly England Too — And Doesn’t That Count For Something?
I’m Worried We’re Forgetting About The Tudors In All Of This. Let’s Not Get So Clever We Forget The Tudors
We Mustn’t Ever Forget The Tudors Or They Will Return and Take England Away From Us and Give It To Somebody Else