The Cambridge History of the British Empire

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The Cambridge History of the British Empire was a major work of historical scholarship published in eight volumes between 1929 and 1961 by Cambridge University Press. Volume seven was divided into two parts. The general editors were John Holland Rose, A.P. Newton and Ernest Alfred Benians.

The work appeared during a period of transition from the British Empire to the British Commonwealth and the position of the United Kingdom with respect to its colonies was very different by the time the last volume appeared in 1959 to what it had been in 1929. This was reflected in reaction to the later volumes and the historiographical approaches taken. Eric Walker's second edition of the South Africa volume in 1963, for instance, was criticised for using an outdated approach[1] and the series is currently out of print. The Cambridge Illustrated History of the British Empire, a one volume work edited by P.J. Marshall, was published in 1996 but that also is out of print.


  • Vol. I The old empire from the beginnings to 1783. 1929. online
  • Vol. II The new empire, 1783-1870.
  • Vol. III The empire - commonwealth. 1959.
  • Vol. IV British India, 1497-1858. 1929. (doubled as the fifth volume of The Cambridge History of India)
  • Vol. V The Indian Empire, 1858-1918. (doubled as the sixth volume of The Cambridge History of India)
  • Vol. VI Canada and Newfoundland. 1930.
  • Vol. VII Part 1. Australia. 1933. (Reissued in unaltered form in 1988 for the Australian Bicentenary)[2]
  • Vol. VII Part 2. New Zealand.
  • Vol. VIII South Africa, Rhodesia and the protectorates. 1936. (Second edition 1963 edited by Eric A. Walker)

See also[edit]