Catalogue


The web of empire : English cosmopolitans in an age of expansion, 1560-1660 /
Alison Games.
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 2008.
description
ix, 381 p. : ill.
ISBN
0195335546 (hardcover : acid-free paper), 9780195335545 (hardcover : acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 2008.
isbn
0195335546 (hardcover : acid-free paper)
9780195335545 (hardcover : acid-free paper)
catalogue key
6477490
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2009-06-01:
Games (Georgetown; Migration and the Origins of the English Atlantic World, CH, Mar'00, 37-4078; coauthor, with Douglas Egerton, The Atlantic World: A History, 1400-1888, 2007) is well qualified to write about the early British Empire, and she does so with authority and sound research. Her ideas are redolent of an earlier generation of imperial historians, such as the late John S. Galbraith, who argued for a variety of "factors" in imperial expansion and rule. These included the role of the intellectually curious and peripatetic "man on the spot" and the nature of the relationships between colonists and indigenous peoples. In other words, a sophisticated analysis of the "cosmopolitan" nature of the agents involved in imperial expansion and rule (the web of empire); the pragmatism, out of necessity and inclination, with which the British empire expanded; and the role that the empire played in the acquisition of resources for the monarch as a relief from domestic fiscal constraints. Games also highlights the importance of the Mediterranean in the early development of English expansion. This is early, all-encompassing, and wide-ranging British imperial history at its finest. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Most levels/libraries. R. D. Long Eastern Michigan University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Alison Games's fascinating and deeply researched new book makes clear that the English were cosmopolitan globetrotters before they became xenophobic imperialists. By presenting English colonization of the Americas as only one part, and not even a very representative part, of a world in motion, The Web of Empire is engagingly--and convincingly--subversive."--Joyce E. Chaplin, Harvard University "Alison Games's terrific study of English 'cosmopolitans' recasts the origins of the British Empire. In a marvelous work of historical detection, she shows how English travelers to the Mediterranean, India, Japan, and Madagascar shaped the emerging imperial system. Readers will be delighted by the stories she tells of sexual alliances, dissemblers, and unlikely travelers who helped to establish the connections that fueled the rise of English colonies in North America, the West Indies, and Ireland. The book is a triumph that deserves a wide audience."- Peter C. Mancall, author of Hakluyt's Promise: An Elizabethan's Obsession for an English America "With this remarkably wide-ranging book, Alison Games demonstrates that early English overseas ambitions and initiatives extended far further and were far more intertwined than we have hitherto appreciated. Her fresh and vivid study traces the circulation of traders, soldiers, governors, colonists, clergymen, and others around the globe, transferring their skills, strategies, and sensibilities across distant and disparate lands. This important work will substantially reshape our understanding of the origins of the British Empire."--Dane Kennedy, George Washington University
"Alison Games's newest book is a work of great range and depth that draws on a considerable breadth and variety of sources.... This comprehensive study is meticulously researched and points to a new direction for considering English global activities in this era as well as for understanding the eventual development and growth of the British Empire."--Journal of British Studies "The Web of Empire: English Cosmopolitanism in an Age of Expansion offers a rather benign view of how global empire was built, with a dazzling array of explorers, travellers, merchants, clerics and even soldiers often more concerned to learn from exotic peoples than to impose on them."--The Independent "Like Games's earlier effort, The Web of Empire conveys the result of prodigious research; anyone who has attempted archival research of English activity in far-flung locations in this early period will be impressed by Games's energy and tenacity."--New England Quarterly "An admirable book. It casts light in places where shadows lurked; thereby it brightens a reader's view of the beginnings of the English empire. It proceeds from its author's diligent scouring of sources, her eye for apt detail, her gifts of style, and her careful posing of argument, all of which render this book well worth an investment of one's time."--Warren M. Billings, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography "This is early, all encompassing, and wide-ranging British imperial history at its finest."--R.D. Long, CHOICE
"Alison Games's newest book is a work of great range and depth that draws on a considerable breadth and variety of sources.... This comprehensive study is meticulously researched and points to a new direction for considering English global activities in this era as well as for understanding the eventual development and growth of the British Empire."--Journal of British Studies "The Web of Empire: English Cosmopolitanism in an Age of Expansionoffers a rather benign view of how global empire was built, with a dazzling array of explorers, travellers, merchants, clerics and even soldiers often more concerned to learn from exotic peoples than to impose on them."--TheIndependent "Like Games's earlier effort,The Web of Empireconveys the result of prodigious research; anyone who has attempted archival research of English activity in far-flung locations in this early period will be impressed by Games's energy and tenacity."--New England Quarterly "An admirable book. It casts light in places where shadows lurked; thereby it brightens a reader's view of the beginnings of the English empire. It proceeds from its author's diligent scouring of sources, her eye for apt detail, her gifts of style, and her careful posing of argument, all of which render this book well worth an investment of one's time."--Warren M. Billings,Virginia Magazine of History and Biography "This is early, all encompassing, and wide-ranging British imperial history at its finest."--R.D. Long,CHOICE "This thought-provoking book will doubtless stimulate further studies of the role of cosmopolitan accommodation in European imperial expansion." --Renaissance Quarterly
a masterful analysis of the early and often-overlooked history of the British empire
an interesting and well-researched book full of unique insights, engaging anecdotes, and interesting case studies.
from start to finish, this is an argumentative book written in accessible prose, which is certain to generate debate, stimulate challenges, and consolidate the reputation of Alison Games as one of the most accomplished scholars writing today on England's North American World within the context of its more general expansion overseas.
[Games'] provocative book should inspire future debate and stimulate additional scholarship on the extent to which human agency influenced early modern imperial expansion.
Wonderful...it is pleasing to encounter a book that focuses on well-wrought, well-researched stories.
"Alison Games's fascinating and deeply researched new book makes clear that the English were cosmopolitan globetrotters before they became xenophobic imperialists. By presenting English colonization of the Americas as only one part, and not even a very representative part, of a world in motion, The Web of Empire is engagingly--and convincingly--subversive."--Joyce E. Chaplin, Harvard University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, June 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
In this work, Alison Games explores the period when England challenged dominion over the American continents, established new long-distance trade routes in the eastern Mediterranean and the East Indies, and emerged in the 17th century as an empire to reckon with.
Main Description
How did England go from a position of inferiority to the powerful Spanish empire to achieve global pre-eminence? In this important second book, Alison Games, a colonial American historian, explores the period from 1560 to 1660, when England challenged dominion over the American continents,established new long-distance trade routes in the eastern Mediterranean and the East Indies, and emerged in the 17th century as an empire to reckon with. Games discusses such topics as the men and women who built the colonial enterprise, the political and fiscal factors that made such growthpossible, and domestic politics that fueled commercial expansion. Her cast of characters includes soldiers and diplomats, merchants and mariners, ministers and colonists, governors and tourists, revealing the surprising breath of foreign experiences ordinary English people had in this period. Thisbook is also unusual in stretching outside Europe to include Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. A comparative imperial study and expansive world history, this book makes a lasting argument about the formative years of the English empire.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 3
Before the Grand Tour: The Domestication of Travelp. 17
The Mediterranean Origins of the British Empirep. 47
English Overseas Merchants in an Expanding World of Trade, 1590-1660p. 81
Virginia, 1607-1622p. 117
All the King's Men: Governors, Consuls, and Ambassadors, 1590-1650p. 147
Madagascar, 1635-1650p. 181
The Cosmopolitan Clergy, 1620-1660p. 219
Ireland, 1649-1660p. 255
Conclusionp. 289
Abbreviationsp. 301
Notesp. 303
Indexp. 365
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem