Linda Colley's first book since the immensely successful and critically acclaimed Britons will explore the individual experiences of some of the many British people - captives or renegades - who, voluntarily or involuntarily, lived throughout the Empire during a period of 250 years. This unique and original book provides an alternative history of the British Empire and a brilliant new take on the whole imperial adventure. Many Britons - taken as slaves, imprisoned, or, by their own choice, long-term residents in the outposts of Empire - left written records of their motives and experiences. Linda Colley examines this rich and relatively unexplored material, vividly recreating individual lives and personalities. Her book travels from one of Britain's earliest colonies, Tangier, to other parts of Africa, and North America to India and beyond. She shows us the world through the eyes of the individuals who inhabited it while illuminating many central issues, such as national identity, attitudes towards race, and the power or impotence of Empire.
Linda Colley was born in Britain in 1949. After teaching at Cambridge, she moved to Yale University, and she is now back in England at the London School of Economics, where she is School Professor of History and Leverhulme Personal Research Professor. Hew previous books are In Defiance of Oligarchy: The Tory Party 1714-1760 (1982) and Namier (1989).