Regional Identities in North-East England, 1300-2000
`Required reading for all those interested in the history of North-East England'. ANTHONY FLETCHER. In November 2004 the people of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the historic counties of Durham and Northumberland, along with Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland in North Yorkshire, decisively rejected a regional assembly. The referendum came as the culmination of a long campaign for regional devolution, which asked a number of searching questions. What sort of a region is and was the North East of England? How deep-rooted is the identity of the North East as a region? How can one find a regional identity in the more distant past? This collection of essays, the product of a research project undertaken collaboratively by the five north-eastern Universities, looks for the elusive self-conscious region over many centuries. It suggests that the notion of a single regional identity is a recent phenomenon overlaying a kaleidoscope of sub-regional associations and connections. Today's region appears to be more fissured and fragile than we like to imagine. The approach and conclusions reached are of significance not only for the history of the old counties of north-eastern England, but also for the wider history of England, and hold significant implications for the history of regions and regionalism in general. ADRIAN GREEN is Lecturer in History at Durham University; Professor A.J. POLLARD is University Fellow at the University of Teesside.
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