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One of our most distinguished historians, Linda Colley is Shelby M.C.Davis 1958 Professor of History at Princeton and a Fellow of the British Academy. She has previously taught at Cambridge, Yale and LSE. Her earlier books include Wolfson Prize-winning Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837; Captives: Britain, Empire and the World, 1600-1850 and The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh: A Woman in World History.
The United Kingdom; Great Britain; the British Isles; the Home Nations: such a wealth of different names implies uncertainty and contention - and an ability to invent and adjust. In a year that sees a Scottish referendum on independence, Linda Colley analyses some of the forces that have unified Britain in the past. She examines the mythology of Britishness, and how far - and why - it has faded. She discusses the Acts of Union with Wales, Scotland and Ireland, and their limitations, while scrutinizing England's own fractures. And she demonstrates how the UK has been shaped by movement: of British people to other countries and continents, and of people, ideas and influences arriving from elsewhere. As acts of union and disunion again become increasingly relevant to our daily lives and politics, Colley considers how - if at all - the pieces might be put together anew, and what this might mean.
How was Great Britain made? And what does it mean to be British? This brilliant and seminal book examines how a more cohesive British nation was invented after 1707 and how this new national identity was nurtured through war, religion, trade, and empire. Lavishly illustrated and powerful, Britons remains a major contribution to our understanding of Britain's past, and continues to influence ongoing controversies about this polity's survival and future. This edition contains an extensive new preface by the author. A sweeping survey, . . . evocatively illustrated and engagingly written. -Harriet Ritvo, New York Times Book Review Challenging, fascinating, enormously well informed. -John Barrell, London Review of Books Linda Colley writes with clarity and grace...Her stimulating book will be, and deserves to be influential -E. P. Thompson, Dissent Linda Colley is Shelby M. C. Davis 1958 Professor of History at Princeton University. Winner of the Wolfson History Prize A New York Times Notable Book
From the author of `Britons', the story of the exceptional life of the intrepid Elizabeth Marsh - an extraordinary woman of her time who was caught up in trade, imperialism, war, exploration, migration, growing maritime reach, and new ideas. Linda Colley's new book breaks the boundaries between biography, family stories and global history. This is a book about a world in a life. An individual lost to history, Elizabeth Marsh (1735-85) travelled farther, and was more intimately affected by developments across the globe, than the vast majority of men. Conceived in Jamaica and possibly mixed-race, she was the first woman to publish in English on Morocco, and the first to carry out extensive overland explorations in eastern and southern India, journeying in each case in close companionship with an unmarried man. She spent time in some of the world's biggest ports and naval bases, Portsmouth, Menorca, Gibraltar, London, Rio de Janeiro, Calcutta and the Cape. She was damaged by the Seven Years War and the American Revolutionary War; and linked through her own migrations with voyages of circumnavigation, and as victim and owner, she was involved in three different systems of slavery. But hers is a broadly revealing, not simply an exceptional, life. Marsh's links to the Royal Navy, the East India Company, empire and international trade made these experiences possible. To this extent, her career illumines shifting patterns of British and Western power and overseas aggression. The swift onset of globalization occurring in her lifetime also ensured that her progress, relationships and beliefs were repeatedly shaped and deflected by people and events beyond Europe. While imperial players like Edmund Burke and Eyre Coote form a part of her story, so do African slave sailors, skilled Indian weavers and astronomers, ubiquitous Sephardi Jewish traders, and the great Moroccan Sultan, Sidi Muhammad, who schemed to entrap her. Many modern biographies remain constrained by a national framework, while global histories are generally impersonal. By contrast, in this dazzling and original book, Linda Colley moves repeatedly and questioningly between vast geo-political transformations and the intricate detail of individual lives. This is a global biography for our globalizing times.
Ranging over a quarter of a millennium and four continents, Captives uncovers the experiences and writings of those tens of thousands of men and women who took part in Britain's rise to imperial pre-eminence, but who got caught and caught out. Here are the stories of Sarah Shade, a camp follower imprisoned alongside defeated British legions in Southern India; of Joseph Pitts, white slave and pilgrim to Mecca; of Florentia Sale, captive and diarist in Afghanistan; of those individuals who crossed the cultural divide and switched identities, like the Irishman George Thomas; and of others who made it back, like the onetime Chippewa warrior and Scot, John Rutherford. Linda Colley uses these tales of ordinary individuals trapped in extraordinary encounters to re-evaluate the character and diversity of the British Empire. She explores what they reveal about British responses to, relations with, and frequent dependence upon different non-European peoples. She shows how British attitudes to Islam, slavery, race, and American Revolutionaries look different once the captive's perspective is admitted. And she demonstrates how these individual captivities illuminate the limits of Britain's global power over time - as well as its extent. Richly illustrated and evocatively written, Captives is both a magnificent and compelling work of history, and a powerful and original reappraisal of the significance and survivals of empire now.
In English history the years between 1714 and 1760 are peculiar in two ways. They have received only scant attention from historians, and they witnessed the exclusion of the tory sector of the nation's landed elite from all central as well as from prime local offices. In this book Linda Colley explores the fate of the tory party which has dominated both Parliament and the constituencies throughout of the reigns of William III and Anne. She refutes any simple identification of the party with cryto-Jacobitism, and explains both the ideological, electoral, and organisational factors which enabled it to survive under the early Hanoverians, and the circumstances which prevented it from regaining total or limited access to the political centre. Like canaries down a mine, the proscribed tories are also used to gauge the atmosphere of their high-and low-political environment. By examining the tory party's persistent if unavailing parliamentary lobbies and opinion, Dr Colley brings into question many of the current orthodoxies about England's political stability under George I and George II, and casts doubt on the repidity and novelty of political and social developments thereafter.