Britain, Empire and the World 1600-1850
'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 Dalr
Ranging over a quarter of a millenium 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 Afganastan; 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 warrioe 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 [ers[ective is admitted. And she demonstrates how these individual captivities illiuminate the limits of Britain's global power over time - as well as its extent.