Empire and Sexuality by Ronald Hyam

Empire and Sexuality by Ronald Hyam


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This highly original and lively study of the sexual attitudes of the men who ran the British empire makes plain for the first time the pervasive importance of sexuality in Victorian empire-building. The author shows how the expansion of Europe was not only a matter of 'Christianity and Commerce' but also centred around copulation and concubinage.  He argues that sexual interaction served to mitigate the miseries and boredom of living overseas and as a result it was crucial both to individuals and as a general dynamic underpinning the whole system. 


Hyam begins with a critical but non-technical analysis of basic psychosexual concepts.  He then goes on to stress the extraordinary risks that many rulers of empire took with their careers in order to pursue their sexual interests and he makes accessible for the first time several unpublished reports on imperial scandals. The author also explores the peculiarities of British official attitudes, the activities of the Purity Campaign, the links between sexual opportunity in the Victorian homebase and in the empire and the impact of British sexual attitudes on race relations.



"Brilliant, original and funny... Ronald Hyam must be a new star to replace AJP Taylor"   Antohny Blond  Spectator




  • Details

    Imprint: Manchester University Press

    Publication Date: 1990

    ISBN: 9780719025051

    Pages: 234

    Type: Paperback

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