The Lion and the Springbok presents an account of the dynamics and divergences of the 'uneasy special relationship' of Britain and South Africa. From the bruising experience of the South African War (1899-1902) to South Africa's withdrawal from the Commonwealth in 1961, the authors chart this relationship in all its political, ecomic, cultural and geostrategic aspects. All the major disputes are discussed including the struggle for the High Commission Territories, the crisis over Seretse Khama's marriage and the transfer of the Simon's Town naval base. These issues trace, for the most part, a continuing deterioration in relations, as Afrikaner nationalist identity hardened and South African politics slid into the extremes of apartheid. The perceptions each side had of the other after 1948 are examined through representations in the media, and an epilogue considers the reasons for the return of the 'New South Africa' to the Commonwealth in 1994.
Ronald Hyam is Emeritus Reader in British Imperial History, University of Cambridge, and Emeritus Fellow, Magdalene College, Cambridge. Peter Henshaw is Assistant Professor at Queen's University, Ontario.