This week, millions of Muslims make the annual pilgrimage to Mecca known as the Hajj. A new study reveals how, in the age of Empire, the spiritual journey became a major feature of British imperial culture, attracting the interest of Queen Victoria, Winston Churchill and others – and resulting in one of the earliest Thomas Cook package tours.
An epic new history of England offers some eye-catching conclusions on Englishness – suggesting, among other things, that a “remarkable” level of cultural unity and a relative openness to other cultures are both key components of English national identity.
As an expert in constitutional law, Sir Ivor Jennings played a pivotal role in the establishment of states emerging from British rule in the mid-20th century. He later became Master of Trinity Hall. As Smuts Visiting Fellow, Dr Harshan Kumarasingham is researching how Jennings and other British figures shaped the lives of millions of people around the world.
The British Empire presided over innumerable atrocities and acts of appalling cruelty, but what use is acknowledging those injustices when they are so distant from our own time? Priyamvada Gopal’s research illustrates both the strength of our ties to the past and the implications they have for our present.