Introduction: Polish Culture in Britain: Literature and History, 1772 to the Present

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter provides an overview of the inspiration and context for this collection that explores the cultural production, images in the popular imagination and history of Poles in Britain from the eighteenth century to the present day. It begins with stories of individuals in Portsmouth during the 1830s reported as both positive and negative images of Poles in Britain at the time. Hence, it examines the paradox of the representation of Poles as both “model minority” and threat to Britain. It considers increased migration of Poles to Britain post-Accession and its reversal post-Brexit. Contemporary theories of post-dependence, postcolonialism and orientalism are introduced to examine issues of identity in the context of contemporary migration. It provides a summary of the individual chapters through the lens of migration, ultimately considering what can be learnt more broadly from Polish Britain particularly in the context of current international attention to the East European region.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolish Culture in Britain
Subtitle of host publicationLiterature and History, 1772 to the Present
EditorsMaggie Ann Bowers, Ben Dew
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783031321887
ISBN (Print)9783031321870, 9783031321900
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2023


  • Britain
  • Poland
  • Portsmouth
  • Brexit
  • identity

Cite this