Search results

Editor: Clare Midgley

Gender history is more than the recovery of women's pasts and inclusion of female experiences into history. This book brings together two traditionally separate areas of historical literature: writings on women and gender on the one hand, and scholarship on British imperialism and colonialism on the other. It marks an important new intervention into a vibrant area of scholarship, creating a dialogue between the histories of imperialism and of women and gender. By engaging critically with both traditional British imperial history and colonial discourse analysis, the book demonstrates how feminist historians can play a central role in creating new histories of British imperialism. The first part of the book offers new perspectives on the nature of British imperial power through exploring the gender dimensions of the imposition of British control. It discusses study of the age of consent, body of scholarship, and British women missionaries in India. The second part talks about the gender dimensions of a spectrum of reactions to British imperialism. The focus is on colonising women and the colonized women. The third part switches from colonial contexts to explore the impact of imperialism within Britain itself. It presents both the anti-slavery discourse constructed by women anti-slavery campaigners and the 'triple discourse' of anti-slavery in early feminist tracts of 1790 to 1869 as marking key roots of the 'imperial feminism'. Finally, the inter-war period is explored focusing on the under-researched area of white women's involvement in imperial politics and race issues.

Myths and Metaphors of Popular Imperialism, 1880–1918

The debate about the Empire dealt in idealism and morality, and both sides employed the language of feeling, and frequently argued their case in dramatic terms. This book opposes two sides of the Empire, first, as it was presented to the public in Britain, and second, as it was experienced or imagined by its subjects abroad. British imperialism was nurtured by such upper middle-class institutions as the public schools, the wardrooms and officers' messes, and the conservative press. The attitudes of 1916 can best be recovered through a reconstruction of a poetics of popular imperialism. The case-study of Rhodesia demonstrates the almost instant application of myth and sign to a contemporary imperial crisis. Rudyard Kipling was acknowledged throughout the English-speaking world not only as a wonderful teller of stories but as the 'singer of Greater Britain', or, as 'the Laureate of Empire'. In the last two decades of the nineteenth century, the Empire gained a beachhead in the classroom, particularly in the coupling of geography and history. The Island Story underlined that stories of heroic soldiers and 'fights for the flag' were easier for teachers to present to children than lessons in morality, or abstractions about liberty and responsible government. The Education Act of 1870 had created a need for standard readers in schools; readers designed to teach boys and girls to be useful citizens. The Indian Mutiny was the supreme test of the imperial conscience, a measure of the morality of the 'master-nation'.

Abstract only
Community, culture and colonialism 1900-1949
Author: Robert Bickers

The British community in China was rooted in the diverse cultures of imperial Britain. This book presents a study of Britain's presence in China both at its peak, and during its inter-war dissolution in the face of assertive Chinese nationalism and declining British diplomatic support. Using archival materials from China and records in Britain and the United States, the book presents a portrait of the traders, missionaries, businessmen, diplomats and settlers who constituted "Britain-in-China", challenging people's understanding of British imperialism there. Imperialism is no new subject for scholars of modern Chinese history. The largest settler communities were selfgoverning; even the smallest were still self-replicating. The book focuses on the structure and workings of this establishment in the decades before the Pacific War. The survey presented examines the processes by which Britain in China evolved, how it replicated itself and represented itself (and China). It looks at how it attempted to reform itself in the face of the militant state and mass nationalism it met in China in the mid-1920s and after. The survey also looks at the face of the efforts of the British state to regain control over it and to decolonise the British presence. All Britons in China possessed multiple identities: British, imperial and local. The book also analyzes the formation and maintenance of settler identities, and then investigates how the British state and its allies brought an end to the reign of freelance, settler imperialism on the China coast.

Patronage, the information revolution and colonial government
Author: Zoë Laidlaw

The fascination with imperialism, in all its aspects, shows no sign of abating, and the 'Studies in Imperialism' series continues to lead the way in encouraging the widest possible range of studies in the field. This book makes a significant contribution to the study of historical networking. While the book covers the thirty years after Waterloo, it is particularly concerned with changes to colonial governance in the 1830s. In pursuing these themes, the book engages with broad questions about British imperialism in the early nineteenth century. It provides the opportunity to bring together new imperial and British historiography, to examine the somewhat neglected area of colonial governance, where 'governance' implies a concern with processes of government and administration. The first part of the book introduces, and then dissects, some of the networks of patronage and information which were critical to colonial governance. It examines changes in Colonial Office organisation and policies between 1815 and 1836. The second part deals with the development, implementation and effects of networks of personal communications in New South Wales and the Cape Colony up to 1845. The private correspondence of governors with their immediate subordinates within the colonies demonstrates the continual assessment and re-assessment of metropolitan politics, imperial policies, and the reception of colonial lobbyists. The final part of the book focuses on Britain, considering the impact of a changing information order on colonial governance, and examines how colonial and metropolitan concerns converged and cross-fertilised.

Examining the ways in which the BBC constructed and disseminated British national identity during the second quarter of the twentieth century, this book focuses in a comprehensive way on how the BBC, through its radio programmes, tried to represent what it meant to be British. It offers a revision of histories of regional broadcasting in Britain that interpret it as a form of cultural imperialism. The regional organisation of the BBC, and the news and creative programming designed specifically for regional listeners, reinforced the cultural and historical distinctiveness of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The BBC anticipated, and perhaps encouraged, the development of the hybrid ‘dual identities’ characteristic of contemporary Britain.

Abstract only
British imperial civil aviation, 1919–39
Author: Gordon Pirie

The whole business of British air transport during the period of 1919-1939 was infused with muddle, belt-and-braces attitudes and old-fashioned company ideas. The conditions of inter-war Britain militated against new technology, fresh approach to management, organization and the relationships between capital and the state. This book provides unrivalled insights into the massive hopes engendered by the supposed conquest of the air, and the ways in which these were so swiftly squandered. Aeronautical societies attempted to spark initiatives through 'juvenile' lectures. The initial pioneering efforts were in the form of trans-Atlantic flights by ex-RAF pilots, the journey of Smith brothers to Australia, and flights across Africa. The book discusses the efforts towards organising the civil aviation and propagation to serve the cause of air communication, and the reconnaissance mission of Alan Cobham and Sefton Brancker to negotiate over-flying and landing facilities. Empire route development took place in stages, starting with the Middle East before venturing to India and Africa. However, organised Empire aviation was alive only in the form of occasional news items and speeches. The book examines the stresses of establishing Britain's eastern airway, and the regularisation of air services to Africa. Criticisms on Imperial Airways due to its small fleet and the size subsidy, and the airline's airmail service are also dealt with. As part of reconfiguration, the airlines had to focus more on airmail, which also saw a curtailment of its independence. Imperial Airways was finally nationalised in 1938 as British Overseas Airways Corporation.

The promotion of British and French colonial heroes, 1870–1939
Author: Berny Sèbe

Imperial heroes embodied the symbolic implementation of the colonial project and performed a highly mythologized meeting between conquerors and conquered. They were a crucial element of the 'European encounter with Africa' that took place as part of the Scramble for Africa. The book explores systematically the multiple outlets through which heroes of the British and French empires were celebrated, how their reputations were made over several decades and who sustained them. It looks at the general socio-cultural and political trends prevalent in Britain and France, and considers micro-economic tendencies and technological developments in the cultural industry that the development of legends revolving around imperial heroes. The book allows the reader to grasp the variety of print and audiovisual media, genres and formats through which meanings were conveyed, allowing imperial heroes to reach a 'public presence'. Two major aspects invested imperial heroes with a role in society. First is the use of their image as political argument or their own political roles. The other is the values that they embodied through their own personal dedication above and beyond the call of duty. The book presents the micro-histories of the making of the legends surrounding the figures of Major Jean-Baptiste Marchand and the Sirdar Kitchener. It details how a war correspondent George Warrington Steevens, and a publisher, Blackwood and Sons, converted the fall of Khartoum to market 'With Kitchener to Khartoum' as patriotic writing.

Abstract only
The Calcutta Jute Wallahs and the Landscapes of Empire

Dundee had an interesting role to play in the jute trade, but the main player in the story of jute was Calcutta. This book follows the relationship of jute to empire, and discusses the rivalry between the Scottish and Indian cities from the 1840s to the 1950s and reveals the architecture of jute's place in the British Empire. The book adopts significant fresh approaches to imperial history, and explores the economic and cultural landscapes of the British Empire. Jute had been grown, spun and woven in Bengal for centuries before it made its appearance as a factory-manufactured product in world markets in the late 1830s. The book discusses the profits made in Calcutta during the rise of jute between the 1880s and 1920s; the profits reached extraordinary levels during and after World War I. The Calcutta jute industry entered a crisis period even before it was pummelled by the depression of the 1930s. The looming crisis stemmed from the potential of the Calcutta mills to outproduce world demand many times over. The St Andrew's Day rituals in Calcutta, begun three years before the founding of the Indian Jute Mills Association. The ceremonial occasion helps the reader to understand what the jute wallahs meant when they said they were in Calcutta for 'the greater glory of Scotland'. The book sheds some light on the contentious issues surrounding the problematic, if ever-intriguing, phenomenon of British Empire. The jute wallahs were inextricably bound up in the cultural self-images generated by British imperial ideology.

Abstract only
Mary A. Procida

and normalize their own apparently anomalous position in India. In return, Anglo-Indian wives were tacitly allowed to participate in the politics of empire, carrying out the quotidian tasks of governance and shaping the policies of British imperialism in India. Britain itself could offer little in the way of similar experiences, and it is not surprising that almost all of the memoirs

in Married to the empire
Abstract only
Jeffrey Richards

, music was used to dramatize, illustrate and reinforce the components of the ideological cluster that constituted British imperialism in its heyday: patriotism, monarchism, hero-worship, Protestantism, racialism and chivalry. It was also used to emphasize the inclusiveness of Britain by stressing the contributions of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland to the imperial project. Music was written

in Imperialism and music