The motherland trope was particularly effective in creating a sense of community during this time of shifting allegiances, she asserts, because it formed an emotional fraternity between Englishmen of all classes.
Chapter one analyzes how Henrician propagandists like playwright John Bale and pamphleteer Richard Morison originally developed the motherland trope to shift the allegiance of England's subjects from the Pope's church to Henry's Tudor monarchy--from the 'mother of whoredom' (Bale's name for the Catholic church) and the Virgin Mary to Mother England.
She argues that in order to contextualize Gaunt's speech from Richard II, in which England is a 'teeming womb of royal kings' that depends upon the brave 'deeds' of English sons, we must go back to these early plays and grapple with their use of the motherland trope.
She convincingly reads how true Englishmen in the histories must put motherland above actual women in order to fit the developing model of masculinity that the book traces; but her claim that Shakespeare's English mothers are either figured as promiscuous betrayers whose 'maternal powers .
Chapter I, "Resisting Zombification," carries over the discussion of Maryse Conde's assertion that "Africa helped me to discover that I am not an African but a French West Indian living in the motherland.
Chapter II, "I Am Me, I Am You," offers an interesting and good close reading of Annie John, but the study's theme of motherland disappears or is disconnected.
I was just a French West Indian living in the motherland.