British Imperialism in Cyprus, 1878-1915

The Inconsequential Possession
Varnava, Andrekos
Date published: 
March 2009

This book explores the tensions underlying British imperialism in Cyprus. Much has been written about the British Empire’s construction outside Europe, yet there is little on the same themes in Britain's tiny empire in 'Europe'. This study follows Cyprus' progress from a perceived imperial asset to an expendable backwater by explaining how the Union Jack came to fly over the island and why after thirty-five years the British wanted it lowered. Cyprus' importance was always more imagined than real and was enmeshed within widely held cultural signifiers and myths. British Imperialism in Cyprus, 1878-1915 fills a gap in the existing literature on the early British period in Cyprus and challenges the received and monolithic view that British imperial policy was based primarily or exclusively on strategic-military considerations. The combination of archival research, cultural analysis and visual narrative makes for an enjoyable read for academics and students of Imperial, British and European history.