Britain's Levantine Empire, 1914-1923

ISBN : 9780192895769

Daniel-Joseph MacArthur-Seal
296 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jul 2021
Oxford Studies in Modern European History
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Britain's Levantine Empire, 1914-1923 explains the rise and decline and nature and extent of British military rule in the urban eastern Mediterranean during the course of the First World War and its aftermath. Combining novel case studies and theoretical approaches, the volume reveals the extent of military control that Britain established and anticipated maintaining in the post-Ottoman world, before a series of confrontations with nationalist and socialist anti-imperialists forced a new division of the eastern Mediterranean, still visible in the political borders of the present day. Britain's Levantine Empire, 1914-1923 tells this story through the eyes and ears of the British servicemen who built this empire, analysing the testimony of over 100 such military personnel sent to Alexandria, Thessaloniki, Istanbul, and the towns and islands between them, as they voyaged, made camp, and explored and patrolled the city streets. Whereas histories examining soldiers' experiences in the First World War have almost exclusively focused on their lives at the frontlines, this study provides a much needed in-depth history of soldiers' experience and impact on the urban hubs of the Eastern Mediterranean, where urban planning, nightlife and entertainment, policing, and security were transformed by the presence of so many men at arms and the imperialist interventions that accompanied them.


1 Port to Port: Sea Voyaging and the Logistics of Empire
2 Exploring the Levantine City
3 City and Camp: Reordering the Levantine City
4 Day and Night: Leisure Routines and Regimes
5 Securing the Levantine Empire

About the author: 

Daniel-Joseph MacArthur-Seal received his PhD in History from the University of Cambridge in 2015. He joined the British Institute at Ankara in 2014 as a Postdoctoral Fellow and was then Research Fellow from 2015-2017. He was Research Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern History at Hong Kong Baptist University from 2017-2019 before taking up the post of Assistant Director of the BIAA in September 2019. His current and past research interests range from diplomatic, military, and imperial history to the social and cultural histories of alcohol, opium, and prostitution in the early-twentieth-century Eastern Mediterranean.

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