George Orwell served for five years in the 1920s as an officer in the Imperial Police in Burma, at that time part of the British Raj. He was to write about the Empire as an unjustifiable despotism. Mahatma Gandhi did more than anyone else to bring about the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947, the first step in the dismantling of the Empire. Orwell should have seen Gandhi as a comrade in arms, a fellow anti-imperialist, even a hero. Instead he speaks of Gandhi with suspicion, hostility, irritation, and ” sort of aesthetic distaste.” Why?
As the Under-Secretary General of the UN, Ralph Bunche was one of the leaders in the fight to end empire in the second half of the Twentieth Century, In 1965, he had the opportunity to speak to Princess Margaret about the role of the British Empire in the world.
On 4 November 1922, Englishman Howard Carter acted on a “hunch” and discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun, setting the world at large on fire, archaeologically speaking. “King Tut’s tomb” and the (much older) Pyramids of Giza;:have any other monuments come to symbolize ancient Egyptian civilization—and archaeology—better?
News broke in 2022 that the royal frigate Gloucester that sank in 1682 had been located off the coast of Norfolk. The discovery excited marine archeologists and treasure hunters, and drew attention to the scandal of the warship’s loss.
Everyone in the village of Sedgeberrow must have known Alice le Fynch, a determined personality defending the interests of her family. Christopher Dyer discusses why Alice, and other medieval peasants like her, should not be underestimated.
How does a country choose what to commemorate? What elevated the victory of 18 June 1815 over other great British victories in the previous quarter century of war?
The first of July 2022 marks the 25th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China. It also marks the halfway point of a 50-year agreement between China and Hong Kong that established the “one country, two systems,” rule – a system designed to allow Hong Kong to “enjoy a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs” while still remaining a Special Administrative Region of China.
To commemorate the 1900th anniversary of Hadrian’s Wall, here’s a selection of titles exploring its history, ancient Rome’s influence on British identity, the new approaches being developed in Roman archaeology, and more.
In the past few decades, trust and distrust have become frequent subjects of journalistic and academic discourse. Distrust of British and American public institutions has, in fact, a much longer and more complex history than most academics recognize.
To paraphrase, Winston Churchill, Britain has always been “with Europe but not of it”. All it ever wanted was a share in a common market. Instead, it found itself caught up in the creation of new kind of political order. The consequence was Brexit. Now Britain is neither of nor with Europe.
A look at the process of reconstructing Claudius’ Arch in Rome and how it was informed by the latest research in archaeology and classical studies to provide a better understanding of the significance of the Roman Invasion of Britain.
Since 1987, Women’s History Month has been observed in the US annually each March as an opportunity to highlight the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. This month, we’re sharing some of the latest history titles covering a range of eras and regions but all charting the lives of women and the impact they made, whether noticed at the time or from the shadows.
Corruption has risen to the top of the British political agenda. Even if we agree with Boris Johnson that the UK is “not remotely a corrupt country”, then Britain certainly did struggle with corruption in the past. Indeed it has had a long history of corruption and anti-corruption. This has some lessons for today.
Travel back in time to the recent past and explore the OUPblog’s top 10 history blog posts of 2021. From dispelling Euro-centric myths of the Aztec empire to considering humanity’s future through the lens of environmental history, think outside the box with the latest research and expert insights from the Press’s history authors.
The full story of prohibition—one you’ve probably never been told—is perhaps one of the most broad-based and successful transnational social movements of the modern era. Discover 20 key figures from history that you didn’t know were prohibitionists.
To observe UK Black History Month, we have curated a collection of Oxford Dictionary of National Biography articles exploring the lives of people of Black/African descent who had an impact on, or a connection to, the UK during their lifetime and the ways in which they made history.