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Settlers and Expatriates Britons over the Seas by Robert (Professor of History, University of Bristol) Bickers


Settlers and Expatriates Britons over the Seas by Robert (Professor of History, University of Bristol) Bickers

The British Empire gave rise to various new forms of British identity in the colonial world outside the Dominions. In cities and colonies, and in sovereign states subject to more informal pressures such as Argentina or China, communities of Britons developed identities inflected by local ambitions and pressures. As a result they often found themselves at loggerheads with their diplomatic or colonial office minders, especially in the era of decolonisation. The impact of empire on metropolitan British identity is increasingly well documented; the evolution of dominions' nationalisms is likewise well known; but the new species of Britishness which attained their fullest form in the mid-twentieth century have received significantly less attention. Settlers and Expatriates revisits the communities formed by these hundreds of thousands of Britons, as well as the passages home taken by some, and assesses their development, character, and legacy today. Scholars with established expertise in the history of each region explore the communalities that can be found across British communities in South, East and Southeast Asia, Egypt, and East and Southern Africa, and highlight the particularities that were also distinctive features of each British experience. These overseas Britons were sojourners and settlers; some survived in post-independent states, others were swept out quickly and moved on or back to an often uninterested metropolitan Britain. They have often been caricatured and demonized, but understanding them is important for an understanding of the states in which they lived, whose politics were at times a crucial part of British history and the history of migration and settlement.


It is the purpose of Settlers and Expatriates to trace the oft forgotten experiences of these globally dispersed, temporary British sojourners, who often get overshadowed in the historical literature by the much larger volumes of people migrating to the colonies of white settlement. * Bryan Glass, British Scholar Society * As a thought-provoking discussion of migration, colonialism and identity ... and as a collection to inspire future research, this is a rich volume with much to offer * Laura Ishiguro, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History * this collection constitutes a crucial contribution to the study of imperial mobility and to the consolidating field of settler colonial studies * Lorenzo Veracini, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History * a first-rate addition to the Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series * Christopher Prior, Immigrants and Minorities * convincingly re-exposes the lives of the imperial British as a deserving field of academic research, drawing interesting parallels without submerging the diverse or particular * Anna Sanderson, History Today * This authoritative collection deftly puts ... colonial caricatures in their proper place, revealing instead a much more complex and contested range of British identities. By emphasising the diverse experience of Britons overseas, it not only expands the current limits of British world scholarship but offers a conceptual substitute a world of Britains * Felicity Barnes, English Historical Review * Bickers should be commended for the coherence and uniformly high quality of this collection. The essays all provide political and economic frameworks in which to understand the presence of these communities overseas, as well as perspectives on each communitys composition, beliefs, and experiences * Kevin Grant, Victorian Studies * Few edited collections display a topic in such a comprehensive and fascinating manner, or open up an area for teaching and research as this book does. * Simon J. Potter, 20th Century British History. *

About the Author

Robert Bickers joined the University of Bristol in 1997 after receiving a Ph.D. at the School of Oriental and African Studies, and holding post-doctoral fellowships at Nuffield College, Oxford and the University of Cambridge. He is the author of Empire Made Me: An Englishman Adrift in Shanghai (2003), which won the American Historical Association's Morris D. Forkosch prize, and was a founder of Bristol's Centre for the Study of Colonial and Post-Colonial Societies.

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Book Info

Publication date

15th May 2014


Robert (Professor of History, University of Bristol) Bickers

More books by Robert (Professor of History, University of Bristol) Bickers
Author 'Like for Like'


Oxford University Press


368 pages


Colonialism & imperialism

Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900
20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000



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