Heaven's Command: An Imperial Progress (Pax Britannica) Paperback – 3 Feb 2003
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'One of our finest writers on Empire - alive to its glory, yet with a beady eye for the corruptions and failures which were at its heart, along with the dreams.' --Observer.
How many professional historians can write books that give so much pleasure?' --Sunday Times.
'A tour de force, majestically sure of touch, rich in tone, comprehensive in range.' --Irish Times.
'An unorthodox masterpeice, a wise, witty, romantic love-hate affair with a dying empire.' --New York Times Book Review.
'Excellent ... A fine historical, geographical and general knowledge course combines, enlivened with little graffiti - the epitaphs, poems, diary notes, letters, oaths, hymns and exclamations of those astonishing people, who, with their bloody-minded benevolence, changed the face of the world.' --Glasgow Herald.
'Dazzling ... the detailed sense of place is superb.' --The Economist --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Heaven's Command: An Imperial Progress is the first instalment in Jan Morris's classic Empire Trilogy. It vividly portrays the rise of Queen Victoria and the British Empire, their journey across the globe and their search for Imperial progress. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Great read, beautifully written - just buy the book not the Kindle edition.
So the map of the globe was painted red, sometimes with vision, sometimes with well-meaning paternalism, sometimes with brutal ruthlessness, almost always with courage and conviction. Morris is clear-eyed: the history of imperialism is of good and bad and all shades in between. While India is all pomp and ceremony, South Africa is a muddle, Ireland is a near disaster. If the breadth of the narrative is impressive, it is the anecdotal evidence that lingers when the book is closed. The author's great skill is in searching out the detail that illuminates the canvas. Then there is the prose - sharp, precise language organised in long, elegant sentences (pace the note below for Kindle readers).
Unlike in some histories, humour lurks. In Fiji, for example, "shipwrecked sailors were assumed to have been discarded by the gods, and were accordingly eaten as a matter of course." How much more readily would one have been engaged by the subject at school had such as Heaven's Command been standard text books.
Five stars, then, without hesitation - but an important note must be appended for Kindle readers. My version was littered with typographical errors, many inexplicable, some impossible to translate. There were no fewer than eight examples of "in fact" appearing as "in feet." Or "The Lard gave and the Lord batb taken away.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an absolutely superb description of what was such a rich part of British history. It can make you proud, angry, sad and just amazed in a few paragraphs. Read morePublished 14 months ago by chris wright
An interesting account of the British Empire during Victoria’s reign. The book tends to drag in some places when the author goes into detail on certain topics e.g. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Terence, Malta
Read it years ago but rereading it it was a bit light flowery.Published 19 months ago by Nick Bointon
Didn't like this should know better than buy cheap books had to go back on the web and buy sensible quality cheap and nafPublished on 20 Jun. 2014 by leo
The Kindle version is marred by a lack of proofreading. The DCR has created many howlers and has left several paragraphs incomplete. What a cheapscate pity.Published on 12 Jun. 2014 by Amazon Customer
Hopefully the positives outweigh the negatives in how the british "BUILT" up the Empire.
This is a thought provoking book in the trilogy by this author. Read more
Heavens Command is a delight like enjoying a fruit cake, every page is full of nuts and raisins of things you vaguely were aware of that now become crystal clear. Read morePublished on 24 Nov. 2013 by Peter Martinelli Mbe
The book catalogues the psychological change of the British in the aftermath of the American Independence leading them into an age of Imperialism. Read morePublished on 23 Oct. 2013 by Manto