Historians of Anglo-America have long been fascinated by the cultural relationship between the colonies and the mother country during the eighteenth century. Recently, this interest has been intensified by studies suggesting that the Americans drew heavily on English sources for their revolutionary ideology. Scholars have thus recognized the importance of defining the exact nature of the interplay between England and America, and one of the most frequently-chosen means of accomplishing this clarification has been to examine the accounts of English travelers in the colonies and the impressions of provincial visitors to the British Isles. Such personal narratives provide an excellent basis for comparing the two cultures and for delineating the extent of their shared heritage. Yet strangely enough, despite this continuing interest in colonial reactions to England and vice versa, few works have discussed in detail the experience of the loyalist refugees who fled to Great Britain during the revolutionary war. In part this seems to be a consequence of the long-term neglect of the loyalists in serious studies of the American rebellion, but even with the recent upsurge of interest in them, their time in exile has received scant attention from historians. Generally the loyalists' experience in England has been treated as something of a side show to the main event, which was acted out upon the American stage. This lack of scholarly concern is at the same time curious and lamentable, for the refugees' letters and diaries provide a wealth of information about the ways in which eighteenth-century Americans perceived Great Britain, and thus about the nature of the relationship between the two closely-connected English-speaking cultures.
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