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The road to BrexitA cultural perspective on British attitudes to Europe$
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Ina Habermann

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526145086

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526145093

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 05 August 2021

Guards of Brexit? Revisiting the cultural significance of the white cliffs of Dover

Guards of Brexit? Revisiting the cultural significance of the white cliffs of Dover

Chapter:
(p.199) 10 Guards of Brexit? Revisiting the cultural significance of the white cliffs of Dover
Source:
The road to Brexit
Author(s):

Melanie Küng

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7765/9781526145093.00020

In the build-up to the EU referendum in 2016, the white cliffs of Dover loomed large over a debate crucially driven by concerns over immigration. This chapter discusses the problematic legacy of the cliffs as a key symbol of British insular exceptionalism and (racially) exclusive identities, with a focus on how travel accounts have both constructed and challenged the powerful symbolism of the white cliffs of the mind. The chapter discusses travel accounts by H.V. Morton, Christopher Isherwood, Jonathan Raban, Caryl Phillips and Jamaica Kincaid. Looking beyond the cliffs towards the English Channel as a space of cultural contact and exchange, this chapter argues for a broader and more inclusive perception of Britain’s national border.

Keywords:   White cliffs, Dover, English Channel, Border, EU referendum, Insularity, Travel writing

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