Empire

British India in 1880

An extensively researched, hard-hitting reassessment of British rule in India pulls no punches, but does not tell the whole story. 

Company painting depicting an official of the East India Company, c. 1760

A persuasively argued but one-sided account of the economic and political failings of British rule in India.

At war: French soldiers in Madagascar, May 1947 Ⓒ AFP/Getty Images

Anglo-French relations, often fraught, came to a head in the crucible of the Indian Ocean.

a silver plate depicting the Sasanid King Peroz I on a hunting expedition. Opposite: Khosraw II on a relief in Taq. Ⓒ Bridgeman Images

Iran, despite its conquest by the armies of Islam, retained its own Persian language and much of its culture. Khodadad Rezakhani examines the process by which a Zoroastrian empire became part of the Islamic world.  

The Battle of Chacabuco by Pedro Subercaseux, 19th century. © Bridgeman Images

A major conflict in the Chilean War of Independence was fought on 12 February 1817.

In the popular imagination, the archetypal British imperialist is the kind of daring young adventurer portrayed in the stories of Rider Haggard and Rudyard Kipling. But, reveals Will Jackson, those who settled the Empire were far more diverse than stereotypes allow.

Couple in a US appliance store buying a new wall oven, 1956

The notion that  ‘Greed is Good’ was not born in the 1980s, nor even in the 20th century. Frank Trentmann traces the roots of today’s rampant consumer culture to the imperial ambitions of the great European powers.

A Maori lumberer talks with an elderly local woman, Nieppe Forest, March 1917

The First World War threw together people from all over the world. Anna Maguire considers images of these chance meetings and the light they shed on a global conflict.

Ironically, writes Michael Edwards, from his lofty, paternal point of view, Curzon became one of the prime architects of Indian independence.

C.R. Boxer profiles the learned and pious Duchess of Aveiro, a proud and forceful member of the Iberian aristocracy, who devoted her wealth to the propagation of the Gospel overseas.