Ribbons Among the Rajahs
A History of British Women in India Before the Raj
During the 18th and early 19th centuries, legions of women made the long, costly and hazardous journey to India, some accompanying husbands, others seeking a husband or employment, others still from a sense of adventure; but while the women of the Raj are familiar from literature, these pioneers are generally forgotten. Between the voyage out and their deaths in India, Patrick Wheeler’s social history offers an account of everyday life for these ‘Indian British’ women during the pre-imperial era.
Blood and Sand
Suez, Hungary and the Crisis that Shook the World
This hour-by-hour account of 16 days in late 1956 juxtaposes the Hungarian Uprising and the Suez Crisis (or Second Arab-Israeli War) which, though thousands of miles apart, were both driven by Cold War tensions and threatened the precarious stability between the USA and USSR. Alex Von Tunzelmann’s tense narrative, which switches rapidly between locations (London, Tel Aviv, Washington, Budapest, etc.), describes the powerplay between protagonists, including Ben-Gurion, Eden, Eisenhower, Nasser and Nagy, which resulted in conspiracy, assassination and bloodshed.
The Tiger and the Ruby
A Journey to the Other Side of British India
In 1841, Nigel Holleck left Britain to work as a clerk in the East India Company. After eight years in the post, he disappeared without trace in Nepal. A century and a half later, Kief Hillsbery set out to find the final resting place of his ancestor. The result is this remarkable tale of a clash of civilizations, a quest to discover one’s own identity, and a moving story of one man against an empire.
A British Lion in Zululand
Sir Garnet Wolseley in South Africa
The Anglo-Irish soldier Field Marshal Garnet Joseph Wolseley (1833–1913) was a household name in his lifetime. In just one year, he captured two powerful Zulu leaders who had inflicted crushing defeats on the British. Drawing on hitherto unused material, including 600 of Wolseley’s own letters, and field trips to long-forgotten battle sites, William Wright brings this ambitious, clever, insecure officer vividly to life, and sheds new light on an important but neglected aspect of colonial history.
We Die Like Brothers
The Sinking of the SS Mendi
On a foggy morning in 1917, a large British mail ship travelling dangerously fast off the Isle of Wight collided with SS Mendi, a steamship carrying more than 600 members of the South African Native Labour Corps (SANLAC). The Mendi sank in 20 minutes, leaving few survivors. Drawing on recent archeological evidence from the wreck, the book reconsiders this terrible tragedy and tells the story of the SANLAC in the British war effort.
Against the view of a liberal, commercial Anglo-American empire of the early 18th century, Stephen Saunders Webb argues that the American provinces, on a war footing, became capitalist, coercive and aggressive owing to their leaders: career army officers, trained and nominated to office by the captain general of the allied armies, the first Duke of Marlborough. His influence, according to Webb, prevailed throughout the 18th century in America.
A Journey in Search of Empire
William Paterson's dream to establish, along with a trading company in Scotland, a Scottish colony on the isthmus of Panama was enthusiastically embraced by the Scots. Caledonia was founded on the Caribbean coast, but the settlers fell foul of disease, poor leadership and their Spanish rivals: the Darien scheme was a disaster. McKendrick gives a detailed account of the whole venture, from the earlier travellers' tales that fired Paterson's imagination, to the Darien legacy in South Carolina, Georgia and Panama.
Scandal of Colonial Rule
Power and Subversion in the British Atlantic During the Age of Revolution
James Epstein’s study examines the colonial drama that unfolded in 1806, when General Thomas Picton, Britain’s first governor of Trinidad, was tried in England, accused of torturing (by ‘piquet’) a mulatto girl named Louisa Calderon.
Imperial Boundary Making
The Diary of Captain Kelly and the Sudan-Uganda Boundary Commission of 1913
Written during the Sudan-Uganda Boundary Commission’s 1913 expedition by its leader, Harry Kelly, this day-by-day account gives rare insights into how imperial boundaries were drawn, and into the indigenous peoples encountered.
The English Assault on the New World, 1497–1630
English colonizing efforts in North America were painfully unsuccessful in comparison with Spain's empire-building further south. Investigating the reasons for England's slow progress, Childs uses primary sources to examine vessels and voyages from Cabot's Matthew in 1497 to Winthrop's fleet in 1630; the unrealistic ambitions of promoters like Ralegh; the nature of the conflict with Native Americans; and the lack of leadership and co-operation that doomed English attempts to settle on the American coast to failure.
How British Aristocrats Staked a Claim to the American West 1830–1890
From the 1830s onwards, a succession of British aristocrats headed for the American West, taking with them their valets, their dogs – and their prejudices. This sparkling account describes the newcomers' experiences as they crossed the country to meet Native Americans, hunt buffalo and build cattle empires. Packed with lively incident and colourful personalities, it also charts their reception by Americans often less than pleased at the return of their former colonial overlords.
My African Journey
Winston Churchill toured the British territories in East Africa in 1907, when he was Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, and his account of the journey reflects his serious interest in Africa, beyond the natural beauties of the landscape and the thrill of big-game hunting. His thoughts on settlement, race and government and in particular the role of the railways provide an intriguing insight into early 20th-century imperialism and African history. First published in 1909.
Biographies of Colonialism in the Indian Ocean World, 1790–1920
Clare Anderson's study uses biographical fragments of the lives of convicts, captives, sailors, slaves, indentured labourers and indigenous peoples to build a picture of 19th-century colonial life in the Indian Ocean. Critical Perspectives on Empire series. No jacket.
Bringers of War
The Portuguese in Africa during the Age of Gunpowder and Sail
Long before steamships and machine-tooled artillery, the Portuguese established an empire in Africa, capturing trading towns, seizing slaves and plundering mineral riches. This history describes how, between the 15th and the late 18th centuries, they fought their ancient Muslim foes, overthrew African kingdoms and resisted Dutch, Omani and Ottoman rivals in a quest for wealth and power as ruthless as the Spanish conquests in the Americas.
Gladstone, Gordon and the Sudan Wars
The Battle over Imperial Intervention in the Victorian Age
General Gordon's death in Khartoum in January 1885 was a crucial episode in British history and one that has remained controversial. Gordon has been usually depicted as the hero of the story, while Gladstone is often portrayed as the villain, responsible for a 'policy of drift' in Sudan. Nicoll's radical reappraisal, based on previously unpublished materials, refutes the conventional image of both men and offers insight into British policy in Africa and the influence of the press and public opinion.
First Prime Minister of the London Empire
William Beckford was born into a family of wealthy sugar planters in Jamaica in 1709, when the colonies were still peripheral to Britain; by the time he died in 1770, they were considered the source of Britain's burgeoning global power. Beckford grew his fortune in Jamaica, but spent most of his adult life in London, where he was twice elected Lord Mayor. His biography provides a unique view of 18th-century Britain from the perspective of the colonies.
Journeys to Empire
Enlightenment, Imperialism and the British Encounter with Tibet, 1774-1904
This study of two British missions to Tibet - George Bogle's in 1774 and Francis Younghusband's in 1904 - provides a unique perspective on the relationship between the Enlightenment and European colonialism.
How Australia Became British
Empire and the China Trade
The discovery of the Eastern Passage to China in the mid-18th century, which meant that ships no longer had to wait for the monsoon winds, sparked fierce competition for trade between the warring nations of Britain and France. This revealing study explains how the need to safeguard its sea-lanes to China and India drove Britain to explore the great Australian landmass – glimpsed by the Dutchman Abel Tasman in the previous century – and erect a 'ring fence' around it.