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

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  208 ratings  ·  14 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)
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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...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...more
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...more
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...more
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
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.
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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
More about Jan Morris...
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

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