British Imperial Century, 1815d1914 / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 30%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 91%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (20) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $19.61   
  • Used (14) from $1.99   


Although Britain's overseas empire may not have been "acquired in a fit of absence of mind," as one of its most prominent historians once alleged, neither was it the brainchild of politicians and bureaucrats in London. Why, then, has so much imperial history been written from this metropolitan perspective? Timothy Parsons strongly contends that the scope and duration of this, the largest of all modern European empires, can only be understood from a non-Western perspective. In an exceptionally concise and informative fashion, The British Imperial Century offers its readers a comprehensive overview of the formation and administration of the empire from its origins in the early nineteenth century, to its climax at mid-century, to its denouement on the eve of the First World War. This was the era in which a previously "informal" empire based on trade and commerce was transformed into a "formal" empire in which trade was often of secondary importance to strategic or political considerations. Parsons devotes chapters to key colonies and regions, many of them overlooked by previous scholars, that include the Indian "raj," Africa, the Middle East, and China. He also considers the long-term consequences of imperialism on the cultures of the colonized and the colonizers alike. An ambitious and thoughtful contribution to the field of imperial history, The British Imperial Century will find a useful place in courses on world history and European history, or as a supplemental text for classes on African, Asian, British, or Middle Eastern history.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Canadian Journal Of History
Clearly written, reasonably comprehensive, and addressing contemporary issues this book could well serve as a stimulating primer on imperial history.
— James G. Greenlee, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College
International Journal Of African Historical Studies
In short, this is a well-written general introduction to the study of imperialism, filled with probing insights and useful discussion points, and one that I would recommend to both students and advanced scholars. Far from covering well-trodden ground, the book provides fresh, detailed information and clever, off-the-mainstream interpretations.
John W. Cell
Well informed, judiciously argued, and well written.
Canadian Journal of History - James G. Greenlee
Clearly written, reasonably comprehensive, and addressing contemporary issues this book could well serve as a stimulating primer on imperial history.
Thomas Metcalf
The scholarship is sound; the writing is workmanlike and free of jargon; and the organization is attractively original. . . . This volume will find a place as an introductory textbook for undergraduates studying imperialism, world history, or modern Europe.
Begins a series to provide readers with short narratives and interpretive histories of major events and movements in world history. Emphasizing that the empire was not just the imposition of things British on colonial people, but a cultural exchange between everyone involved in it, Parsons (history and African and Afro-American studies, Washington U., St. Louis) looks at the political, economic, social, and even biological consequences of the interaction between western and non-western peoples over the course of the century. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847688258
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 4/15/1999
  • Series: Critical Issues in History Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 166
  • Sales rank: 1,307,785
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Timothy Parsons is assistant professor of history and African and Afro-American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: The Imperial Century
Chapter 3: India
Chapter 4: Africa
Chapter 5: British Imperial Influence in China and the Ottoman Empire
Chapter 6: The Consequences of Empire

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 11, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Overview of British Empire during the 19th Century

    This book was one of two books used in a history course on the British Empire After 1780. The book was very informative and combined research and essays written both during the period and after the British Empire had decolonized. The book presented all information logically and with great footnotes for further study. This book was written for both undergraduate level students and casual readers interested in the phenomenon that is the British Empire that history remembers as never having a setting sun.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2003



    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)