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Servants of Empire: An Imperial Memoir of a British Family

Servants of Empire: An Imperial Memoir of a British Family
F. R. H. Du Boulay

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  • Hardback | In Stock | $58.00

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Spanning three continents, several generations and conflicts waged in every corner of the globe, this unusual memoir offers a memorable glimpse of late Imperial life. From General Gordon's Siege of Khartoum to the Boxer Uprising, the Boer War and World War One, this book is a fascinating record of the intersection of the lives of a single British family with the drama of world affairs. Drawing on an outstanding collection of original letters exchanged between six siblings and their parents, the eminent historian F.R.H. Du Boulay has brilliantly reconstructed the lost world of his father's generation. With this book he offers a compelling portrait of a Victorian family and casts fresh light on the daily lives of the British who chose to make their lives abroad as part of the fabric of the Empire. "Servants of Empire" brilliantly sets domestic concerns alongside life-changing world events to produce an appealing blend of the homely and the exotic. It will be an invaluable source for the specialist historian of Empire as well as a fascinating portrait of British social history for the general reader.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: A letter writing family
Chapter 2: The Victorian Gunner – Noel Wilmot
Chapter 3: Viceroy's secretary – James
Chapter 4: Transvaal Livings – Mary; Richard; Philip; Phyllis
Chapter 5: Man of Egypt – Philip
Appendix: The Du Boulay Family

Author Info

Francis Robin Houssemayne Du Boulay (1920-2008) was one of the most distinguished medievalists of his time. He was Professor of Medieval History at the University of London and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1980. His publications include 'Germany in the Later Middle Ages', 'An Age of Ambition' and 'The England of Piers Plowman'.


The lives of the Du Boulay children embraced many aspects of empire – government and military service, missionary work and settlement in India, the Middle East and Africa. This excellent book opens a window on what the empire meant to men and women of an English middle class family.
– Francis Robinson, Professor of the History of South Asia, Royal Holloway College, University of London

‘…a fascinating picture…this is a book which is excellently researched and compiled. It can be easily be read from beginning to end and is not a book to be dipped into…There is considerable scholarship in this book but it hangs lightly. There is also a modesty and humanity about the author’s narration, which qualities clearly run in the Du Boulay family….a slim but elegant volume, well supplemented with photographs and a family tree.’
– Asian Affairs

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781848855717
Publication Date: 30 Nov 2010
Number of Pages: 224
Height: 216
Width: 134
Illustrations: 24 bw integrated illustrations

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