Our volume begins with a critical review and appreciation of the historical contributions of Professor Robbins by Professor Bruce Collins. In a wide-ranging chapter on ‘Defining Britain and Britishness: an Historian’s Quest’, Professor Collins explores Keith Robbins’ understanding of the diversity of modern British society and culture, of the multiple identities held by individuals and groups under the larger umbrella of Britishness and of the ever-changing contingencies in which historical actors must function. ‘Robbins’, he observes, ‘was one of the first historians to place the heterogeneity of the United Kingdom at the centre of his analyses’. Collins gives particular attention to Robbins’ treatment of religion. Quoting Robbins’ observation that in the later nineteenth century, ‘no other country in Europe was as ecclesiastically complex as the United Kingdom’, Collins considers Robbins’ nuanced analyses of denominational diversity and conflict, of the changing connections between religion and national identity, of the pervasive sense of the British as a ‘chosen people’, of the continued strength of the Church-state connection, and of the remarkable resurgence of Roman Catholicism in twentieth-century Britain.