Throughout the nineteenth century the British Empire was the subject of much writing; floods of articles, books and government reports were produced about the areas under British control and the policy of imperialism. Mid-Victorian Imperialists investigates how the Victorians made sense of all the information regarding the empire by examining the writings of a collection of gentlemen who were amongst the first people to join the Colonial Society in 1868-69. These men included imperial officials, leading settlers, British politicians and writers, and Beasley looks at the common trends in their beliefs about the British Empire and how their thoughts changed during their lives to show how Mid-Victorian theories of racial, cultural and political classification arose.
Social change impacts not just upon voting behaviour and party identity but also the formulation of policy. But how do social changes and political developments interact? Which shapes which? Reflecting a belief that social and political structures cannot be understood either in isolation from each other or from the historical processes which form them, this series will examine the forces that have shaped British society and culture. Cross- disciplinary approaches will be encouraged. In the process, the series will aim to make a contribution to existing fields, such as politics, history, sociology and media studies, as well as opening out new and hitherto-neglected fields.