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Caroline Lucas Can We Create a New England?

Festival of Ideas

St George's Bristol  |  £10

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With the UK more divided than ever, England has re-emerged as a potent force in our culture and politics. But today, many would argue, the dominant story told about our country serves solely the interests of the right and the only people who dare speak of Englishness are cheerleaders for Brexit, exceptionalism and imperial nostalgia.

Yet there are other stories, equally compelling, about who we are: about the English people’s radical inclusivity, their deep-rooted commitment to the natural world, their long struggle to win rights for all. These stories put the Chartists, the Diggers and the Suffragettes in their rightful place alongside Nelson and Churchill. They draw on the medieval writers and Romantic poets who reflect a more sustainable relationship with the natural world. And they include many diverse voices exploring shared challenges of identity and equality today. 

In her new book, Another England: A New Story of Who We Are and Who We Can Be, Caroline Lucas delves into our literary heritage to explore what it can teach us about the most pressing issues of our time: whether the toxic legacy of Empire, the struggle for constitutional reform, or the accelerating climate emergency. And she sketches out an alternative Englishness: one that we can all embrace to build a greener, fairer future. She discusses her book with Andrew Kelly, Director, Bristol Ideas. 

Caroline Lucas is the MP for Brighton Pavilion and is the UK’s first and only Green Party MP. First elected to parliament in 2010, Lucas also served as leader of the Green Party of England and Wales from 2008 to 2012, and co-leader from 2016 to 2018. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Exeter, where her dissertation was on the role of women readers in Elizabethan literature. Find her on X @CarolineLucas

Andrew Kelly

Andrew Kelly is Director, Bristol Ideas. He is a visiting professor at the University of the West of England and has written or edited 20 books on subjects ranging from film and cinema to aviation and Bristol’s rich cultural history.

Caroline Lucas photo credit: JJ Waller

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