Despite Britain’s long-standing reputation as a ‘reluctant European’, little research has been done on the treatment of the European Union in cultural production. This essay analyses responses to integration in British fiction of the second half of the twentieth century. Drawing on cultural materialist theory, the essay finds the same mixture of indifference and hostility that marked public discourse and argues that such responses were moulded by the Euroscepticism current amongst governmental and media elites. As illustrated by the work of Nancy Mitford, John Berger, Elizabeth Wilson, Tim Parks and others, engagement increased between the Treaty of Rome and the turn of the twenty-first century, although ideological commitment to ‘Project Europe’ remained largely absent.
Bibliographical noteThe reluctant Europeans: British novelists and the common market, Andrew Hammond, Literature & History, Vol 26, Issue 2, pp. 213 - 230. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s) Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications
- European Union
- British fiction