The Empire: for and against

Filed under: Non-fiction

David Gilmour debates the British Empire at The Roy Jenkins Memorial Lecture

Historians have generally seen the British Empire in simple terms of good or bad, beneficial or exploitative: while its apologists once extolled it to excess, its postcolonial detractors now disparage almost every colonial motive and policy. Yet an empire that stretched over three centuries and six continents should have been immune to facile interpretation. In this provacative lecture, David Gilmour examines the work of historians from the Victorian era to the present day, assesses some of the merits and defects of imperial rule, and laments that current evaluations are frequently neither objective nor historical but are driven by comtemporary political agendas. Chaired by Hugh Thomas.

Recorded on Monday 27 February 2006.


Related RSL Fellows

Sir David Gilmour 1990