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An electrifying, trenchant meditation on England’s pop sensibility, England Is Mine shows the novelist and critic Michael Bracewell on blistering form as he hops from Oscar Wilde to Paul Weller, Goldie to Graham Greene, in a dizzyingly erudite cultural history.
Bracewell’s eye is unswervingly democratic, as, for example, W. H. Auden (‘grandfather of the robot dandys’) is to be found sitting next to David Bowie (‘a sort of Mod from Mars’). He is also intensely funny: who was it that ‘[covered] the territory of Angela Carter’s Company of Wolves in the guise of a pre-Raphaelite raised on Jackie‘? Kate Bush, of course.
Through impassioned argument and an insight both hilarious and surgical (note Oasis’s veneration of the Beatles as ‘an example of England’s nostalgia for Englishness as a kind of heritage pop’) England Is Mine offers a genuinely unique and, more importantly, cogent take on England’s pop history.
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