Captives: Britain, Empire and the World 1600-1850 Paperback – 4 Sep 2003
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
'Captives is a major work: a complete reappraisal of a period, strikingly original in both theme and form, mixing narrative and fine descriptive prose with analysis in an entirely fresh and gripping way...It will undoubtedly confirm Colley's reputation not only as one of the most exciting historians of her generation, but also one of the most interesting writers of non-fiction around.' William Dalrymple, Guardian
'Captives is a major work: a complete reappraisal of a period, strikingly original in both theme and form, mixing narrative and fine descriptive prose with analysis in an entirely fresh and gripping way-It will undoubtedly confirm Colley's reputation not only as one of the most exciting historians of her generation, but also one of the most interesting writers of non-fiction around.' William Dalrymple, GuardianSee all Product description
Customers who bought this item also bought
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The chapter about the Americans captured by the Tripolitan pirates is discussed by Christopher Hitchens in an interview he did a while back, in which he recommends the book. Search 'Hitchens pirates' on YouTube.
However, the smallness at its core, whilst containing the seeds of the Empire itself, also contained the seeds of its downfall. As an island nation England's (and later Britain's) military resources were heavily weighted in favour of its navy - by contrast, the land forces available, drawing on such a small population, were also tiny in comparison to its neighbours like France, Russia or Prussia. This meant that the 'thin red line' between British settlements, colonies, forts, garrisons and the like was often very thin indeed - leading, as the book details, to a great number of situations when Britons were very far from the mythical 'never, never, never shall be slaves'.
Linda Colley focuses on three main theatres of empire - the Mediterranean in the 17th century, with its Barbary pirates operating from North Africa; North America in the 18th century and the conflicts first with Native Americans and later with American Revolutionaries; and Indian in the 19th century, with its soldiery being captive of both Indians princes and its own government. It's a fascinating exploration of a much-neglected topic - Empire being a particularly fraught and controversial era in British history, the issue of British defeats and captivity has either been swept under the rug and ignored or dismissed as some kind of karmic justice. It's an excellent book, impartial and balanced, and it really succeeds in portraying the cohesiveness and full sweep of British imperial history across three centuries.
My one criticism would be that too little of the individual emerges - for all of the talk of this being both micro and macro-history, the individuals mentioned in these pages come across as little more than historical ciphers, serving a purpose in highlighting bigger issues. Their own experiences, day-to-day lives, fates and legacies are little touched on.
What a waste of money. Dont buy it !
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews