Professor Corinne Fowler releases new book Our Island Stories: Country Walks through Colonial Britain

(Credit: Penguin)

University of Leicester’s Professor Corinne Fowler has released a new book published by Penguin exploring Great Britain’s countryside and its links to colonialism.

Our Island Stories has been heralded as an essential new work by the bestselling authors Sathnam Sanghera, David Olusoga and Bernardine Evaristo, the Man Booker Prize winner.

The book was featured in The Observer discussing the book and the impact of a report she co-authored in 2020 about the colonial history of National Trust properties and has been highly recommended in a major review for The Financial Times A journey into Britain’s murky colonial hinterland (

Our Island Stories: Country Walks through Colonial Britain was published earlier this month and follows Professor Fowler on country walks with various companions, all with family links to the British Empire.

The book reveals how the British countryside has become a celebrated part of this country’s national identity whilst histories of empire have been forgotten.

Professor Fowler connects the Cotswolds to Calcutta, Dolgellau to Virginia, and Grasmere to Canton by combining local and global history. The book also explores how colonialism transformed rural lives in Britain for better and for worse.

Professor Fowler said: “This is a history book about the countryside’s colonial histories and their impact on the landscape and on rural labourers, but it’s also my response to culture wars. I wanted to explore this sensitive topic peaceably by walking through some of Britain’s loveliest countryside, captured in the more lyrical passages of this book and interspersed with inspiring and honest conversations with my walking companions.”

Corinne Fowler is a Professor of Colonialism and Heritage at the School of Museums Studies, University of Leicester. University of Leicester’s School of Museum Studies is the oldest and largest university department dedicated entirely to the study of museums and galleries.

More information about Our Island Stories: Country Walks through Colonial Britain can be found here.