This is book is extremely hard work to read, which is a great shame as it's about a very interesting subject. The main problem is structure and layout. The author seems to have put down the facts as they occurred to him, in no particular order at all. The chapters generally run in some kind of date order, but only just. One moment you might be in Australia reading about conflicts between aborigines and early settlers, the next page you're in Ireland! Just when one topic gets interesting it is dropped and we move across the globe to some conflict 20 years earlier. After a while it's tempting to just give up. If somebody could take this research information and present it in a book (or series of books) divided into sections on each part of "the empire", following the story of that region throughout, it would make for an interesting read. The actual content is interesting, but it does seem a bit simplistic in many respects. The author seems to suggest the world at the time was a nice peaceful utopia until the English turned up. Of course, there are some nasty people mentioned, but the general tone is that none were as bad as the English!