Synopses & Reviews
Simon Schama's dramatic, broad-ranging, and immensely readable epic history of Britain reaches its triumphant conclusion in this third and final volume, which stretches from the American Revolution to the present.
The Fate of Empire tells the eventful and exhilarating story of Britain's rise and fall as an imperial power, from the political turmoil of the 1770s to the struggle of present day leaders to find a way to make a different national future. The volume also examines the Romantic generation, the role of women in Victorian England, industrialization, and the liberal empire from Ireland to India, which promised material improvement, but delivered coercion and famine. As in the previous volumes, Schama vividly portrays the lives of extraordinary personalities Queen Victoria, Churchill, Dickens and "ordinary" individuals including the author of the first British travel guide, and Elizabeth Anderson, the first woman doctor.
Finally, Schama asks an essential question: what kind of Britain can hold together when its island isolation and its imperial dominion have both vanished? An examination of the legacy of the British ideal of freedom is at the heart of this entertaining and well-researched book. With The Fate of Empire, Simon Schama has proven himself, again, as a masterful writer of narrative history.
"Schama has done it again...[a] magnificent work, displaying his gift for combining scholarship and grace in a highly accessible narrative....[A] delightfully readable book that should be mandatory for anyone interested in British history." Publishers Weekly
"Schama's narrative is magnificent." The New York Times Book Review
"Schama's style is as assertive, zappy and peremptory as ever, with an added spice of devil-may-care-colloquillism...brave and ambitious." The New Republic
"Schama, a master of big-picture topical narrative...marshals a wide range of material...handsome illustrations abound." The Washington Post
About the Author
Simon Schama is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University in New York. His publications include Patriots and Liberators, The Embarrassment of Riches, Citizens, Dead Certainties, Landscape and Memory, and Rembrandt's Eyes.
Table of Contents
Forces of nature: the road to revolution? -- Forces of nature: the road home -- The queen and the hive -- Wives, daughters, widows -- The empire of good intentions: investments -- The empire of good intentions: the dividend -- The last of Bladesover? -- Endurance.