• Contrary to received wisdom, the British are not an insular people in the conventional sense - far from it. For most of their early modern and modern history, they have had more contact with more parts of the world than almost any other nation - it is just that this contact has regularly taken the form of aggressive military and commercial enterprise.

    Linda Colley (2005). “Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707-1837”, p.8, Yale University Press