Guernsey 1814-1914 Migration and Modernisation

by Rose-Marie Crossan Boydell Press

In the early 19th century, despite 600 years of allegiance to the English Crown, a majority of Guernseymen still spoke a Franco-Norman dialect and retained cultural affinities with France.  By the eve of WW1 however insular society had turned predominantly Anglophone and was culturally orientated toward England.

In examining this sea-change, the author focuses particularly on the role of migration, since the Island experience both substantial inflows (from Dorset, Devon, Somerset, Hampshire and Cornwall; the Irish province of Munster and the French départments of La Manche and Les Côtes-du-Nord).  The author investigates push-and-pull factors influencing the various migrant cohorts, and evaluates the reception they met from the insular authorities and population at large.  Whilst showing that both British and French migrants, in their different ways, advanced the process of Anglicisation, she sets their contribution in its proper perspective again the host of less tangible forces which had first initiated Anglicisation and were hastening it on irrespective of the migrant presence.

An extremely well researched and neatly written account of Guernsey’s population and migration movements in this transition period ... A splendid volume: Rural History

Anyone who aspires to a thorough understanding of 19th century Guernsey, let alone an understanding of the major upheaval which unleashed forces to bear in the 20th century must read this book.  Transactions of La Société Guernesiaise.

Dr Rose-Marie Crossan is an independent social historian.  She was born in Guernsey and has lived most of her life in the island.  After finishing her secondary education, she took a degree in Modern Languages at Oxford University, followed by a postgraduate Diploma in Translation at Kent University, and – after a 20 year break from academia – a PhD in History at Leicester University under Professor Keith Snell.  Dr Crossan’s previous publications include A Women’s History of Guernsey 1850s-1950s and Poverty and Welfare in Guernsey, 1560-2015.

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