When European explorers went out into the world to open up trade routes and establish colonies, they brought back much more than silks and spices, cotton and tea. Inevitably, they came into contact with the peoples of other parts of the world and formed views of them occasionally admiring, more often hostile or contemptuous.
Using a stunning array of sources – missionaries’ memoirs, the letters of diplomats’ wives, explorers’ diaries and the work of writers as diverse as Voltaire, Thackeray, Oliver Goldsmith and, of course, Kipling – Victor Kiernan teases out the full range of European attitudes to other peoples. Erudite, ironic and global in its scope, The Lords of Human Kind has been a major influence on a generation of historians and cultural critics and is a landmark in the history of Eurocentrism.
Eric Hobsbawm'[Victor Kiernan is] that great Scottish historian of empire.’
‘Remains an important resource for the history of racism and empire, and is a finely written book.’
‘A marvellous and erudite introduction to the cruelties and absurdities of the European empires. With its entertaining style and encyclopaedic range, there is nothing quite like this book. It should be read by every teacher and by every schoolchild.’
Richard Gott, author of Britain’s Empire: Resistance, Repression and Revolt
‘Provides an essential anti-Imperialist introduction to global history, and remains an indispensible work for understanding the modern world. The new edition is to be unreservedly welcomed.’
John Newsinger, author of The Blood Never Dried: A People’s History of the British Empire