Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

THE PASSIONATE IMPERIALISTS

  • Written by  Jon Wright
  • Published in Books
THE PASSIONATE IMPERIALISTS
15 Mar
2019
by Rory O’Grady • The Conrad Press • £18.99 (hardback)

By the time they married in 1902, Sir Frederick Lugard and Flora Shaw had emerged as two of the most dynamic figures of the late Victorian era. Lugard had enjoyed – or, sometimes, endured – a spectacularly wide-ranging military and administrative career: embarking on any number of exploratory journeys and fighting battles from Sudan to Burma, and various points in between. Africa, both east and west, had been the main arena of his endeavours, culminating in his appointment as the first governor-general of Nigeria. He had his share of tricky moments: he was once bitten by a crocodile in Kenya and, on another occasion, was obliged to deploy some ingenuity when meeting with the king of Buganda: his clothes were all in tatters apart from a pyjama top, so he applied some brass buttons to make things look a little smarter.

Flora Shaw’s life had been every bit as colourful. She had a rare talent for entering the orbits of, and usually impressing, eminent figures – from John Ruskin to Thomas Carlyle and from George Meredith to Robert Louis Stevenson. Her writing and reportage was much admired and took her to Canada, Australia and South Africa. The highpoint arrived in 1893 when she was appointed as colonial editor of The Times: the first time a woman had reached such dizzy journalistic heights.

O’Grady is impressed by the Lugard/Shaw double act, especially their joint efforts to lobby for their vision of how Britain’s African territories ought to be ruled. In any event, theirs was an effective and, above all, affectionate relationship. In her last note before her death, back home in England, Flora thanked her husband for the ‘last happy years... I want you never to remember anything but the joy and peace of it.’ They had both, after all, earned a rest.

Click here to purchase The Passionate Imperialists by Rory O'Grady from Amazon

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

Get the best of Geographical delivered straight to your inbox by signing up to our weekly newsletter and get a free collection of eBooks!

geo line break v3

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...

Books

by Caroline Crampton • Granta Books • £14.99 (hardback)

Books

by Alastair Humphreys • Harper Collins • £14.99 (hardback)

Books

by Ben Aitken • Icon Books • £12.99 (paperback)

Books

by Edward O Wilson • Allen Lane • £17.99 (paperback)

Books

by David Eimer • Bloomsbury • £20 (hardback)

Films

The uplifting story of a remarkable man who sailed the…

Books

by John Higgs • Weidenfeld & Nicolson • £20/£11 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Lewis Dartnell • Bodley Head • £18.99 (hardback)

Books

by Richard Williams • Polity Books • £15.99 (paperback)

Books

by Nicholas Jubber • John Murray Press • £20 (hardback)

Books

by Rob Dunn • Basic Books • £22.99 (hardback)

Books

by Edward Davey • Unbound • £9.99 (paperback)

Exhibitions

From July 2019 to February 2020, the Oxford University Natural…

Books

by Stephen Smith • Polity Books • £15.99 (paperback)

Books

by David Barrie • Hodder & Stoughton • £25 (hardback)

Books

by Juliet Blaxland • Sandstone Press • £9.99 (paperback)

Books

by Bill McKibben • Wildfire • £20 (hardback)

Exhibitions

A new exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery flies forward 100…

Exhibitions

From 12 July through to 10 November, the Fondation Cartier…