1st Edition

Sir Ronald Storrs Personality and Policy in Mandate Palestine, 1917–1926

By Christopher Burnham Copyright 2025
    240 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume utilises the personal papers of Sir Ronald Storrs, as well as other archival materials, to make a microhistorical investigation of his period as Governor of Jerusalem between 1917 to 1926.

    It builds upon Edward Said’s work on the Orientalist ‘determining imprint’ by arguing that Storrs took a deeply personal approach to governing the city; one determined by his upbringing, his education in the English private school system and his service as a British official in Colonial Egypt. It recognises the influence of these experiences on Storrs’ perceptions of and attitudes towards Jerusalem, identifying how these formative years manifested themselves on the city, and in the Governor’s interactions with Jerusalemites of all backgrounds and religious beliefs. It also highlights the restrictions placed on Storrs’ approach by his British superiors, Palestinians, and the Zionist movement, alongside the limitations imposed by his own attitudes and worldview. Placing Storrs’ personality at the centre of discussion on early Mandate Jerusalem exposes a nuanced and complex picture of how personality and politics collided to influence its everyday life and built environment.

    The book is aimed at historians and students of the late-Ottoman Empire and British Mandate in Palestine, colonialism and imperialism, and microhistory.

    Introduction: Fathoming Storrs’ Character

    1. The Making of Ronald Storrs: 1881–1917

    2. Storrs as Military Governor: The ‘Bliss of Arbitrary Rule’

    3. Attempting to Mould the City in Storrs’ Image: The Pro-Jerusalem Society

    4. ‘Blood Runs Hot in the Palestine Spring…’: The Nabi Musa Riots of April 1920

    5. ‘There Can Be No Question of Surrendering the Mandate’: Civilian Rule, 1920–1926



    Christopher Burnham received his PhD in Palestine Studies from the University of Exeter in October 2022. His research interests include Mandate Palestine, microhistory, and the role of the individual. Alongside his research he teaches History to 11–16-year-olds at a secondary school in Exeter.