Empire and Sexuality

The British Experience

Ronald Hyam



This work explores the sexual attitudes and activities of those who ran the British Empire. The study explains the pervasive importance of sexuality in the Victorian Empire, both for individuals and as a general dynamic in the working of the system. Among the topics included in the book are prostitution, the manners and mores of missionaries and aspects of race in sexual behaviour.


It is a hard-line, old school, imperial historian's statement that the British Empire was very much shaped by the sexual needs of its officers: this book proclaims that sexuality was as much a part of imperial endeavors as economics were. - Luise White, The International Journal of African Historical Studies


Dr Ronald Hyam, LittD. Emeritus Fellow, Emeritus University Lecturer in British Imperial History, formerly President and College Librarian at University of Cambridge.