Tag: Britain

Fathers of Empire

There is a moment early on in Hazel Carby’s Imperial Intimacies when she writes about the ways her mother Iris—as a Welsh woman—refused Englishness but still embraced Britishness. This is revealed in her mother’s dismay that ...

Imperial Couplings

Hazel Carby’s Imperial Intimacies explores the couple, and intimacy, as foundational historical categories in postcolonial and decolonial studies. At the heart of her narrative lie Carl, a Jamaican ...

Homing Empire

Family memoirs are a special kind of historical offering. They have the power to tell fine-grained stories of the past, of epochal events—wars, migrations, empires—and to intricately connect them to ...

Bake, Britannia

Eighteen years ago, in Borneo, Kelly Wiglesworth told a camera crew that she didn’t come to make friends, she came to win. This iconic moment from Survivor defined much of the nearly two decades of reality TV that would follow ...

The Banality of Empire

One of the basic paradoxes of British imperialism is that even as it relied so fundamentally on violence, it insisted on presenting itself as opposed to violence, indeed as dedicated to stamping it ...

Ondaatje’s Long War

In a scathing review of The English Patient, Hilary Mantel called Michael Ondaatje’s most feted work “uneven, unresolved, unsatisfactory.” Her criticism has since become a regular complaint about the ...

Brexit or Utopia?

Ali Smith’s Autumn, the first installment of a four-volume “seasonal quartet” that now continues with Winter, was hailed on its release as “the first great Brexit novel.” As any reader of the book knows, there ...

The Netflix Queen

“What a marvelous way of looking at the history of modern Britain,” enthused the socialist historian Raphael Samuel when fellow historian Ben Pimlott told him in the 1990s that he was writing a ...