Linda Colley is Shelby M.C. Davis 1958 Professor of History at Princeton. Her latest book is Acts of Union and Disunion: What Has Held the UK Together—and What Is Dividing It?
 (November 2015)

Facing Napoleon’s Own EU

Philip James de Loutherbourg: The Battle of the Nile, 1800
Throughout 1940, Virginia Woolf struggled with the terrors and mysteries of war. Neither of the Woolfs knew that their names were on the “black list” of Britons set to be arrested—and presumably killed—in the event of a successful Nazi invasion, but since Leonard was Jewish, the couple prepared for the …

A Tale of Two Empires

The polymath and politician Francis Bacon wrote his “Short View to Be Taken of Great Britain and Spain” in 1619. At this point, Spain laid claim to the largest, most widely dispersed, and by far the richest empire in the world, but Bacon detected frailties in the giant. Philip III, …

The Sea Around Us

Human beings, wrote the ancient Greek geographer Strabo, “are in a certain sense amphibious, not exclusively connected with the land, but with the sea as well.” Yet works of history are usually landlocked. Most historians write about particular states, nations, continents, or empires, and if they glance at maritime matters …

Tough Guys

“As for the war,” Hector tells Andromache in the Iliad, “That is for men.” In the past, almost all societies have accepted this proposition unquestioningly and in two different senses. Since men do not get pregnant, are generally taller and stronger, and possess larger lungs and hearts, war has traditionally …