Empire

Before Empire

In its earliest days, the East India Company was seen not as a threat to Asia’s elites, but as a means of strengthening their powers.

Captain Cook’s Contested Claim

The concept of terra nullius has long been at the heart of explanations of why the British did not treat with Aboriginal people following Cook’s arrival in Australia. But should it be?

Shampoo Empire

Shampooing was brought to Britain by a Bengali immigrant who knew his craft – and how to sell it.

A Portrait of Empire

Three lives from Britain’s 18th-century global empire speak of collaboration, resistance and ambivalence.

Empire and Celebrity

In the 18th century, celebrity culture helped make the British Empire seem both a part of everyday life and a place of fantasy.

Virgin Islands of the Atlantic

The first ‘New World’ reached by Europeans was not in the Americas, but in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, where previously uninhabited islands were transformed forever.

Keeping India Cool

Sweltering British imperialists relied on an army of fan bearers, whose stories are as invisible as the air they circulated.

The Elusive Byzantine Empire

Though the beginnings of the Byzantine Empire are unclear, its demise is not. The history of the Eastern Roman Empire, from its foundation in 324 to its conquest in 1453, is one of war, plague, architectural triumphs and fear of God's wrath.