The history of the British empire has often been told as the story of an all-conquering spread of British values and influence across the globe. But, according to historian David Veevers’ new book The Great Defiance, in its early years the progress of the colonial project was much more halting – characterised by resistance, violence and, often, failure. Speaking to Ellie Cawthorne, David highlights places across the globe where local people put up fierce resistance to Britain’s imperial aims.

David Veevers is the author of The Great Defiance: How the World Took on the British Empire (Ebury, 2023)

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Ellie CawthornePodcast editor, HistoryExtra

Ellie Cawthorne is HistoryExtra’s podcast editor. She also contributes to BBC History Magazine, runs the podcast newsletter and hosts several live and virtual BBC History Magazine events.