Captives: Britain, Empire and the World 1600-1850

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9780712665285: Captives: Britain, Empire and the World 1600-1850

Ranging over a quarter of a millennium and four continents, Captives uncovers the experiences and writings of those tens of thousands of men and women who took part in Britain's rise to imperial pre-eminence, but who got caught and caught out. Here are the stories of Sarah Shade, a camp follower imprisoned alongside defeated British legions in Southern India; of Joseph Pitts, white slave and pilgrim to Mecca; of Florentia Sale, captive and diarist in Afghanistan; of those individuals who crossed the cultural divide and switched identities, like the Irishman George Thomas; and of others who made it back, like the onetime Chippewa warrior and Scot, John Rutherford. Linda Colley uses these tales of ordinary individuals trapped in extraordinary encounters to re-evaluate the character and diversity of the British Empire. She explores what they reveal about British responses to, relations with, and frequent dependence upon different non-European peoples. She shows how British attitudes to Islam, slavery, race, and American Revolutionaries look different once the captive's perspective is admitted. And she demonstrates how these individual captivities illuminate the limits of Britain's global power over time - as well as its extent. Richly illustrated and evocatively written, Captives is both a magnificent and compelling work of history, and a powerful and original reappraisal of the significance and survivals of empire now.

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From the Inside Flap:

In this path-breaking book Linda Colley reappraises the rise of the biggest empire in global history. Excavating the lives of some of the multitudes of Britons held captive in the lands their own rulers sought to conquer, Colley also offers an intimate understanding of the peoples and cultures of the Mediterranean, North America, India, and Afghanistan.
Here are harrowing, sometimes poignant stories by soldiers and sailors and their womenfolk, by traders and con men and by white as well as black slaves. By exploring these forgotten captives - and their captors - Colley reveals how Britain's emerging empire was often tentative and subject to profound insecurities and limitations. She evokes how British empire was experienced by the mass of poor whites who created it. She shows how imperial racism coexisted with cross-cultural collaborations, and how the gulf between Protestantism and Islam, which some have viewed as central to this empire, was often smaller than expected. Brilliantly written and richly illustrated, Captives is an invitation to think again about a piece of history too often viewed in the same old way. It is also a powerful contribution to current debates about the meanings, persistence, and drawbacks of empire.

From the Back Cover:

Captives is rich and unfailingly inquisitive about the anxieties of imperialism, the experiences of those who did [its] hard labour, and, above all, the vulnerability of empire.”
—John Mullan, Times Literary Supplement

“In her reappraisal of what used to be called the first British Empire, Colley . . . counters as many received truths as she can with bracing antidotes. [She is] a completely original intelligence [and her book] is a sort of White Teeth version of early imperial history—full of interracial relationships, strange life journeys, good jokes, and cross-cultural borrowings.”
—Ray Foster, Financial Times

Captives is sublimely well written: cunningly paced, beguilingly fluent, deftly allusive, vividly evocative. It is a major contribution to understanding the paradox of the British: the weak who wangled the earth and were cursed for it and by it.”
—Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Literary Review

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Ranging over a quarter of a millennium and four continents, Captives uncovers the experiences and writings of those tens of thousands of men and women who took part in Britain s rise to imperial pre-eminence, but who got caught and caught out. Here are the stories of Sarah Shade, a camp follower imprisoned alongside defeated British legions in Southern India; of Joseph Pitts, white slave and pilgrim to Mecca; of Florentia Sale, captive and diarist in Afghanistan; of those individuals who crossed the cultural divide and switched identities, like the Irishman George Thomas; and of others who made it back, like the onetime Chippewa warrior and Scot, John Rutherford. Linda Colley uses these tales of ordinary individuals trapped in extraordinary encounters to re-evaluate the character and diversity of the British Empire. She explores what they reveal about British responses to, relations with, and frequent dependence upon different non-European peoples. She shows how British attitudes to Islam, slavery, race, and American Revolutionaries look different once the captive s perspective is admitted. And she demonstrates how these individual captivities illuminate the limits of Britain s global power over time - as well as its extent. Richly illustrated and evocatively written, Captives is both a magnificent and compelling work of history, and a powerful and original reappraisal of the significance and survivals of empire now. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780712665285

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Book Description Pimlico, 2003. Book Condition: New. 2003. New edition. Paperback. Ranging over a quarter of a millenium and four continents, this book uncovers the lives, deaths and autobiographical writings of a vital but forgotten constituency: the tens of thousands of men and women who took part in Britain's rise to imperial pre-eminence but who got caught and caught out. Num Pages: 464 pages, 70ill. BIC Classification: 1DBK; 1QDB; 3JD; 3JF; 3JH; BGH; HBG; HBJD1; HBLH; HBLL; HBTQ; JWXR. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 133 x 42. Weight in Grams: 330. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780712665285

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Book Description Pimlico. Book Condition: New. 2003. New edition. Paperback. Ranging over a quarter of a millenium and four continents, this book uncovers the lives, deaths and autobiographical writings of a vital but forgotten constituency: the tens of thousands of men and women who took part in Britain's rise to imperial pre-eminence but who got caught and caught out. Num Pages: 464 pages, 70ill. BIC Classification: 1DBK; 1QDB; 3JD; 3JF; 3JH; BGH; HBG; HBJD1; HBLH; HBLL; HBTQ; JWXR. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 133 x 42. Weight in Grams: 330. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780712665285

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Ranging over a quarter of a millennium and four continents, Captives uncovers the experiences and writings of those tens of thousands of men and women who took part in Britain s rise to imperial pre-eminence, but who got caught and caught out. Here are the stories of Sarah Shade, a camp follower imprisoned alongside defeated British legions in Southern India; of Joseph Pitts, white slave and pilgrim to Mecca; of Florentia Sale, captive and diarist in Afghanistan; of those individuals who crossed the cultural divide and switched identities, like the Irishman George Thomas; and of others who made it back, like the onetime Chippewa warrior and Scot, John Rutherford. Linda Colley uses these tales of ordinary individuals trapped in extraordinary encounters to re-evaluate the character and diversity of the British Empire. She explores what they reveal about British responses to, relations with, and frequent dependence upon different non-European peoples. She shows how British attitudes to Islam, slavery, race, and American Revolutionaries look different once the captive s perspective is admitted. And she demonstrates how these individual captivities illuminate the limits of Britain s global power over time - as well as its extent. Richly illustrated and evocatively written, Captives is both a magnificent and compelling work of history, and a powerful and original reappraisal of the significance and survivals of empire now. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780712665285

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