Outposts: Journeys to the Surviving Relics of the British Empire Paperback – 5 Jun 2003
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About the Author
Simon Winchester was born and educated in England, has lived in Africa, Ireland, India and China, and now lives in US. He was a foreign correspondent for 30 years and now contributes to a variety of American and British magazines and newspapers. Hismost recent books have been the two international bestsellers, The Surgeon of Crowthorne and The Map that Changed the World. His new book, Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded is published in June 2002.
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Top Customer Reviews
British Indian Ocean Territory, Tristan da Cunha, Gibraltar, Ascension Island, St. Helena, Hong Kong, Bermuda, Turks and Caicos Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat, the Cayman Islands, the Falkland Islands, and the Pitcairn Islands. These, minus Hong Kong - OUTPOSTS was published in 1985 - are now all that are left of the once proud imperial possessions. Simon visited them over a three year period, except the inaccessible Pitcairn, and tells us about his odyssey in this sterling travel narrative.
Winchester, a Brit himself, is ambiguous about the Empire. On one hand, he apparently feels that the Crown's dominions, protectorates, trustee states, mandated territories and colonies were better left to go their separate ways, if only for the sake of political correctness. On the other hand, he maintains that, of all the European colonial empires, Britain's was the one administered with the greatest degree of good intentions. And, Simon isn't above becoming sentimental, as on Tristan da Cunha, a dependency of St.Read more ›
Brilliantly written (his journalistic background readily apparent) and extremely captivating, Outposts is a wonderful insight into these remote patriots on their remote outcrops.
Harry Ritchie writes on a similar line in his book The Last Pink Bits, yet his research is noticeably less than Winchester's, by far. His tone at the start even appears one of mild annoyance at having to travel the world on the subject (surely his own idea?!) to the extent that I actually wondered why he bothered. TV presenter and housewife heart- throb Ben Fogle also attempts a work entitled The Teatime Islands. Although a brave start to his writing career, I believe him better suited to his Prince William impression whilst presenting Animal Thingy on TV, affable though he seems.
Outposts is an extremely well-leafed book in my collection which I keep revisiting. I cannot recommend it highly enough for those interested in travel, empire and history.
`Outposts' is slightly dated having been originally published in the mid-eighties. It contains a now largely redundant chapter on Hong Kong which was ceded to the Chinese in 1997. Other references to old technology, customs and phrases also help to give the book an overall "dated" feel. But that being said; I still greatly enjoyed reading this book and discovering more about our remnant colonies.
Having an interest in the British Empire, I was aware that the places discussed in this book existed, but other than a quick browse on Wikipedia, I had never really studied these colonies in depth using a reputable source! I wanted a book which would take me on a tour of our last possessions, which would give me an idea on their current situation and place in the world; the view the colonists held of their "mother country" and finally, what the future held for these isolated places. I discovered `Outposts' when browsing for e-books and was immediately satisfied with my acquisition. This is the book I had been looking for and I couldn't wait to get stuck in.
Each colony has a designated chapter which describes the history, the geography and some of the local curiosities before culminating with a short outlook on the likely prospects of each place's future. The author writes in a wonderfully descriptive manner and captures each island's isolation from the rest of the world perfectly.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting book. Not the first by Simon Winchester that I've read, and he does choose intriguing subjects. Read morePublished 2 months ago by M. Fowle
He's typically snotty nosed about all these pink dots, like writing a book about them is below him. Too many put downs for this to be a serious read!Published 6 months ago by TheSkipper
Fascinating glimpse of the early 80's, but badly needs updating to what's current 30 years on. Mr Winchester could fly to St Helena in 2016 for starters :-)Published 17 months ago by Rupert Fiennes
Having read Simon Winchester' s later books it is a bit disconcerting to find so few footnotes. Pleasant to look back with rose tinted glasses at what set the British Empire apart... Read morePublished on 15 May 2014 by Andy Laverick
Simon Winchester has travelled the world as part of his career as a journalist, and in this book he collates his travels to the remaining islands of Britain's once-mighty empire... Read morePublished on 29 Oct. 2013 by History Geek