Britannia - towering female with helmet and spear, symbol of the British Isles - has been one of history's most enduring icons. But who is she? Whom does she represent? Who are the British? The Scots, Welsh and Irish, not to mention the English, have been asking themselves these questions for hundreds of years. Their answers have played themselves out in the political and cultural fields at the highest levels and shaped the histories of all these regions that, together, are known as Britain. David Powell charts the political evolution of the United Kingdom from the Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland passed in 1800 to the late-20th century debates over devolution to Scotland and Wales, the future of Northern Ireland and Britain's membership of the EU.