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The British Experience
Author: Ronald Hyam

This book tries to show how sexual attitudes and activities influenced the lives of the imperial elite as well as the subjects of empire. It begins with an examination of the nature of sexuality and of its influence on individuals. The book argues that sexual dynamics crucially underpinned the whole operation of British empire and Victorian expansion. Sexual needs can be imperative, and people will go to extraordinary lengths to satisfy them. The book considers the behaviour of members of the imperial ruling elite, and examines their attitude to marriage and the relationship between their private lives and service of the empire. It looks at sexual opportunity in some different types of imperial situation, both formal and informal, in an attempt to see how sexual interaction underpinned the operative structures of British expansion. As the keeping of mistresses was not uncommon in eighteenth-century Britain, the keeping of a mistress in British India became a well-established practice. Europeans in India could flirt outrageously, but they must not fall in love or marry. To keep the women free from disease, Indian prostitutes were admitted to the cantonments, to the lal bazar after medical examination and registration, where they were given periodical checks. Official reaction against sexual opportunism began in earnest with the Purity Campaign launched in 1869, which changed the visible face of British life and attitudes. Undoubtedly there was thereafter more decorum, more chastity, less opportunity and less fun.

Metroland
Peter Childs

travelling on his train. The man explains something of the history of the rail lines that run through Metroland, situating Christopher’s recent understanding in the context of Victorian expansion and ambition, lionising the very society that Chris’s heroes spurn: ‘He was an old sod, I thought; dead bourgeois’ (M, p. 35). Chris’s preference for art over life reveals itself again in his ignorant dismissal of the Victorian railway pioneer Sir Edward Watkin merely as someone ‘who couldn’t tell Tissot from Titian’ (M, p. 37). Watkin’s grand idea of connecting the northern

in Julian Barnes
A contribution to the debate
Pat Hudson

a web of credit. In addition, slave-related and peonage profits, together with compensation pay-outs, ensured that ‘old mischief’ also comprised a significant component of mid-Victorian expansion.111 Our picture of the relationship between capitalism and slavery can be completed only by research which casts the net wider, and longer chronologically, than did Williams or Inikori, to incorporate income streams and economic stimuli accruing to the British economy, and to other industrialising economies, from continued investment in slave systems well beyond 1833 and

in Emancipation and the remaking of the British imperial world
Abstract only
Problems and approaches
Ronald Hyam

sexual dynamics crucially underpinned the whole operation of British empire and Victorian expansion. Without the easy range of sexual opportunities which imperial systems provided, the long-term administration and exploitation of tropical territories, in nineteenth-century conditions, might well have been impossible. This, however, was far from being an uncontested proposition in late-Victorian Britain

in Empire and sexuality
Mark Hampton

British Empire and Victorian expansion’, such that ‘without the easy range of sexual opportunities which imperial systems provided, the long-term administration of tropical territories, in nineteenth-century conditions, might well have been impossible’. He argues further that an initial openness to cross-cultural sexual relations (though not marriage), including bisexual ones, began to close down in the

in Hong Kong and British culture, 1945–97
Abstract only
Sara Mills

legislation on sexually transmitted diseases, which continued in force in India long after the Contagious Diseases Act had been repealed in Britain (Ballhatchet, 1980; Whitehead, 1995; Gill, 1995, Young, 1995, McClintock, 1995). As Hyam has shown, British males saw the colonial space as a sexualised one where ‘sexual dynamics crucially underpinned the whole operation of British empire and Victorian expansion’ (Hyam, 1990: 1). Hyam’s study, like Gill’s (1995) more popular analysis, is extremely problematic in viewing sexual activity only from the perspective of the British

in Gender and colonial space
Daniel Gorman

. 18 Imperialism itself is a second area where conservatives were intellectually active. 19 However, because many of their ideas concerning Empire proved ultimately unsuccessful, at least in their original form, conservative imperialism has usually been portrayed as reactionary, the dying embers of Victorian expansionism. Salisbury, Balfour, and Bonar Law, Unionist leaders from 1895–1923, were each

in Imperial citizenship
Life as a ‘martial race’ soldier
Heather Streets

relatively unnoticed in the bustle of Victorian expansion. Once these ordinary men stepped into full Highland dress as soldiers, however, the world would have regarded them in quite a different light. Suddenly, they would have become a highly visible part of a coveted and admired regiment, lauded by ordinary citizens, high military officials and the Queen alike. In Highland uniform, recruits were able to

in Martial races
Abstract only
Gordon T. Stewart

Ronald Robinson and John Gallagher, Africa and the Victorians (London, 1961), chapter I, ‘The Spirit of Victorian Expansion’. 61 Gauldie, ed., The Dundee Textile Industry, p. 235. 62 Cooper and Stoler, Tensions of Empire, p. 5

in Jute and empire