Your Basket

The Age of Empires

Robert Aldrich

Out of stock


This intriguing account incorporates new research from across the globe and a profusion of vivid illustrations to tell a story full of conflict, cruelty, heroism, great journeys and extraordinary feats of endurance


Empires evoke potent images: Stanley, Livingstone and the colonial gallery of great explorers; the Spanish Conquistador’s quest for gold and silver; and the Dutch heritage of trade in the East Indies. For over 500 years empires have been a feature of the political landscape and – a generation or more after the final collapse of most of the European Empires – the subject is still a major issue for historians.

For some countries – Germany and Italy – overseas dreams were short-lived; for others – the United States and the Soviet Union – imperialist activity existed but was never accepted as an official state policy; and the disappearance of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires has obscured some of the imperial dimensions of these states.

This book shows how the maps of explorations, the chronologies of conquests, the records of settlers and administrators, the balance sheets of commerce and all else that made up the Age of Empires play a key role in explaining the global civilization of today.

Read More


'It would be very difficult to find a more beautifully produced book … the images are simply breathtaking … this is a book to be enjoyed for the most part at leisure, as a kind of stimulant for the mind and senses'
The Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History

Further Details


Format: Hardback

Size: 28.0 x 21.9 cm

Extent: 320 pp

Illustrations: 285

Publication date: 22 October 2007

ISBN: 9780500251362

Contents List

Introduction: Imperial Overview • 1. The Ottoman Empire: A Diverse Society • 2. Spain: The Genealogy of Modern Colonialism • 3. Portugal Overseas: Asia and America • 4. The Enrichment of the Netherlands: Dutch Colonial Rule and Its Aftermath • 5. Scandinavia: An Outsider in European Imperialism • 6. Britain: The Empire of Good Intentions • 7. France: Empire and the Mère-Patrie • 8. The Two Russian Empires: Tsarist and Soviet • 9. The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy: Re-inventing Central Europe • 10. The Belgian Colonial Empire: Free State or ‘Heart of Darkness’? • 11. The German Empire as Colonial Power: The Latecomer • 12. Italy: The Last Empire • 13. The United States: Empire or Way of Life?

About the Author

Robert Aldrich is Professor of European History at at the University of Sydney. He teaches and carries out research in modern European and colonial history, including the history of France since the Revolution, the history of the French and British overseas empires, the history of 'sites of memory' and the history of gender and sexuality. He is the author of The Seduction of the Mediterranean, The Age of Empires and Colonialism and Homosexuality amongst others.

List of Contributors

Nicholas Doumanis, Josef Fradera, Jill Dias, Esther Captain, Guno Jones, Knud J. V. Jespersen, Kirsten McKenzie, Jacques Frémeaux, Graeme Gill, Walter Sauer, Jean-Luc Vellut, Joachim Zeller, Irma Taddia, Frank Schumacher