Heroes and Villains of the British Empire

Heroes and Villains of the British Empire written by Stephen Basdeo and published by Pen and Sword Books – £15.99 – Softcover – Pages 222

This book like the title says is about heroes and villains of the British Empire, looks at a number of people who are remembered for being the people who are portrayed as the empire builders and in the way the society should look up to. The book looks at these people through pictures, magazines, newspapers and articles of the time and we see how their images are popularised and glorified through stories and portraits. Some of the people spoken about are Robert Clive, General Gordon and Lord Roberts of Kandahar.

The book is a balanced book that looks at a number of individuals, I think maybe there could a better group of people looked at but that’s horses for courses, I did know about quite a few of them before, having already read about them previously. But the author in my opinion is fair and does mention both sides of the argument when talking about the various individuals, both negative and positive. The fact that some of them would now be seen as less popular given recent events in popular culture that were around at the time such as slavery and exploitative behaviour. This was a thoroughly good read that I enjoyed which was away from norm. This book has excellent illustrations and there is a very good sources section and bibliography near the back after the authors’ conclusion.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Ben Davidson

Hello, I have been studying all aspects of history for about 25 years. I have a BA History from the University of Bedfordshire. My historical areas of interest are anything really, but I specialise in 19th - 20th century Britain, America and Ireland. I am also strongly aligned with most military history, really enjoying WW2 and the US Civil War. Chuck in the king or queen and Bob's your uncle.

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