Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Pax Britannica: Climax of an Empire” as Want to Read:
Pax Britannica: Climax of an Empire
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Pax Britannica: Climax of an Empire (The Pax Britannica Trilogy #2)

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  233 ratings  ·  16 reviews
This centerpiece of the trilogy captures the British at the height of their vigor and self-satisfaction, imposing their traditions and tastes, their idealists and rascals, on diverse peoples of the world. Index. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
Kindle Edition, 544 pages
Published (first published 1968)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Pax Britannica, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Pax Britannica

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 491)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Gerald Sinstadt
The year 1897 is the peg upon which Jan Morris hangs her overview of the British Empire in the hour of its greatest glory. 1897 because it was the year of Victoria's golden jubilee, Queen for sixty years. As we approach a similar milestone in the reign of Elizabeth II the book acquires added piquancy.

All over the map of the world in 1897 red marked the extent of British influence: "a begrudging kind of paradise," Morris calls it. A paradoxical paradise, too, for there was little uniformity to b
Robert Davidson
Superb. The second book of the trilogy which i regard as the best History written so far on the British Empire. The Author, with a laconic wit takes the reader on a tour of the many Imperial possessions interweaving the human stories in their time and place. So many people came from those small Islands and settled in so many diverse locations, provides us with an amazing array of lives led. Despite the flaws of the British Empire which the Author describes in detail one is left with the impressi ...more
Lyn Elliott
Jan Morris wrote this in the 1960s, well before post-colonial theory was properly formulated or the fall out from the dismantling of colonial empires was as evident as it is today.
But I would recommend this wholeheartedly to anyone even remotely interested in the politics, culture and societies of the lands that fell within the scope of British rule, or in the phenomenon of an empire that reached to most continents yet was based in a small island off the coast of Europe.

In 1897, the year of Quee
The second of Morris' trilogy on the British Empire. Here she uses Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee of 1897 as point of reference to survey the empire at the height of it's powers.

The first of this trilogy saw Morris set out the development of the Empire but here she concentrates on the various aspects of the empire at it's most powerful, not just the people but the motives the attitudes and the infrastructure - from architecture to the millitary. She talks about the conflict as to the motive of
This is essential history.

Amazon review:
I'm in the midst of reading the trilogy, and I must say that, as a history major and history buff, I've never come across a history so well-told and of such consistent quality. And by "quality" I mean not only the quality of the prose itself but the editing. Those of us who read for pleasure and edification are aware of the sorry state of today's editing, or shall I say absence of editing. We've grown so accustomed to typos and repetition and horrible gram
Troy Rodgers
Yet another one I listened to at work via Audible. My, that's so convenient. As the second book in the Pax Britannica series, this one covers the Victorian Era at its peak of Empire just as the title suggests. As with the first, it's less about the direct through-line of history and more about the people, attitudes, and social expectations of the age. Books like this make it very difficult to condemn the "wrongness" of social disasters without also appreciating the "rightness" in the ideals of t ...more
Peter Ellwood
Outstanding piece of work. It is worth reading for the quality of the prose alone. But, together with its two companion volumes, it also gives an authoritative account of a period of history that is all too often treated with pinko bias by writers these days. Read all three, end to end. Absolutely recommended.
A beautifully written tour of the British empire around the turn of the century, arguably the very climax of that complex and fascinating institution. The author takes the approach of writing only about what she personally finds interesting and can spend a few dozen pages on some small near forgotten Caribbean port she finds intriguing.
I didn't find this exceedingly interesting but it was ok. It focused a lot on India. As a Canadian I didn't get much out of it and the story of the founding of Ottawa as the capital total fallacy which makes me wonder what else was false in this.
William King
A very fine, impressionistic history of the high water mark of the British Empire by a writer who was quite obviously besotted with it. Morris can really write and catches the very well the glamour of the Empire as well as its tawdriness.
Volume two of the trilogy. The apex of empire. The writing shines as bright as any gold the British ever brought home. Whatever one thinks of British colonial behavior - the good, the bad and the ugly - this book is just good.
Robert Clear
In this excellent book Jan Morris paints a fascinating portrait of the British Empire at its zenith, combining a deep appreciation for the subject with a light touch and a flair for evocative detail.
James (before he became Jan) observes the British Empire stylishly in his trilogy which includes Farewell The Trumpets and Heaven's Command.
Craig Russell
Very readable. Well researched. Morris both captures the big picture and intrigues with the details. I'll be looking for his other books.
Wonderful. I love her ironic twists.
Fifosk added it
Apr 17, 2015
Samantha Rowley
Samantha Rowley marked it as to-read
Mar 17, 2015
H.T.Meaney marked it as to-read
Mar 14, 2015
Leslie Goldberg
Leslie Goldberg marked it as to-read
Mar 09, 2015
Sheik Mohamed
Sheik Mohamed marked it as to-read
Mar 06, 2015
Steve marked it as to-read
Mar 01, 2015
Heather marked it as to-read
Mar 02, 2015
N I marked it as to-read
Feb 20, 2015
Matt Giddings
Matt Giddings marked it as to-read
Feb 18, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 16 17 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Origins of the Second World War
  • The Armada
  • Millennium: A History of the Last Thousand Years
  • The Rise and Fall of the British Empire
  • After the Victorians: The Decline of Britain in the World
  • The Pleasures of the Imagination: English Culture in the Eighteenth Century
  • Plain Tales from the Raj
  • Medieval Cities: Their Origins and the Revival of Trade
  • White Heat: A History of Britain in the Swinging Sixties
  • Flesh in the Age of Reason: The Modern Foundations of Body and Soul
  • Daily Life in Ancient Rome: The People and the City at the Height of the Empire
  • Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life
  • The Battle for the Falklands
  • Pagans and Christians
  • The Hour of Our Death
  • Civil War: The Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1638-1660
  • The Great Democracies (A History of the English Speaking Peoples, #4)
  • Black Sea
Jan Morris previously wrote under the name James Morris.

Jan Morris is a British historian, author and travel writer. Morris was educated at Lancing College, West Sussex, and Christ Church, Oxford, but is Welsh by heritage and adoption. Before 1970 Morris published under her former name, "James Morris", and is known particularly for the Pax Britannica trilogy, a history of the British Empire, and
More about Jan Morris...

Other Books in the Series

The Pax Britannica Trilogy (3 books)
  • Heaven's Command: An Imperial Progress (The Pax Britannica Trilogy, #1)
  • Farewell The Trumpets: An Imperial Retreat
Venice Trieste and The Meaning of Nowhere Heaven's Command: An Imperial Progress (The Pax Britannica Trilogy, #1) Conundrum Farewell The Trumpets: An Imperial Retreat

Share This Book

“God and the Soldier all men adore, In time of trouble and no more, For when war is over And all thing righted, God is neglected, And the Old Soldier slighted.” 0 likes
“Dublin was an English city, one of the loveliest. The most Irish thing about it was the shifting drab flow of the poor people” 0 likes
More quotes…