A Wulfrunian is a resident of Wolverhampton in the English midlands, once an industrial town in the English Black Country. 1 In the 19th century, many Irish immigrants to England lived and worked there.
The English journalist and writer Sathnam Sangera notes in his 2021 social history book EmpireLand: How Imperialism has Shaped Modern Britain 2 that in 1871 one Wulfrunian in five was Irish, and that Wolverhampton was called Little Rome. References to Rome were a discrimiatory English allusion to the Roman Catholic religion of the Irish immigrants. After 20th century immigration from the Caribbean Islands, Asia, and Africa, an area of Wolverhampton was known as “Caribee Island”.
Mr. Sanghera’s ancestry is Sikh. The British conquered the Punjab in the wars of colonization of South Asia. The Sikhs became loyal to the empire, and many immigrated to Britain in the 20th century. His parents were disappointed, on emigrating to Britain and settling in Wolverhampton, at the British hostility to immigrants. (Enoch Powell, the controversial conservative 20th century politician (he might now be seen as an early right wing populist), was initially an MP elected in Wolverhampton).
British workers, including 19th and 20th century workers, were born and raisedas social inferiors in the British class system. Many workers were resigned to traditional working class status. Some accepted that they could not change their class and sought and power collectively. Some became or aspired to become middle class. For a variety of reasons, working class British persons might speak with accents, or favour certain entertaiments and interests, and signal their working class identity.
The woke English blame colonialism and empire for the failure of the working class to welcome immigrants, or call working class persons racists. The name calling signals the sense of the name callers that they are socially and morally more virtuous than working class persons.
The book is good. Many or most of the comments on the book at Goodreads comments are “woke”.
- A Wulfrunian is not a member of an alien people in a video game. Draconian was the name of a video game in the 1980s. Some lawyers, tired of the trope and hyperbole of comparing modern laws to Draconian laws, have joked that the Draconians were hostile aliens in an episode of Star Trek. The trope refers to the disproportionate severity of punishments in the first written legal code of Athens. Nor is a Wulfrunian an ally of House Stark in the HBO series Game of Thrones or in the novels by George R.R. Martin.
- The link goes to the Goodreads entry; the book does not have a Wikipedia entry as of April 2022.