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At 20+ hours the unabridged version of this, the 3rd in a trilogy, daunted me. I now wish it hadn't because this abridged one was so informative and well read that I wanted more straight away. I shall now download the unabridged versions of the other two books in the series (and maybe of this one too).
Jan Morris, writing this particular volume in the late 1970's captures well, as far as I know, the tortuous, but usually dignified, decline of Great Britain's imperial power in the first half of the 20th century. Peppered with interesting vignettes this is not a heavy tome but still gives a real sense of how our nation managed such a vast empire and how differently we approached each territory - something I had not previously recognised. It seems that men (always men) with 3rd class degrees were the preferred agents of Albion because of their malleability.
Finally, some praise for the narrator, whose pace and tone never intrude and always lead one on to the next interesting fact. An extremely deftly executed reading.