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Heaven's Command Audiobook

Heaven's Command: An Imperial Progress - Pax Britannica, Volume 1

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Publisher's Summary

The Pax Britannica trilogy is Jan Morris’s epic story of the British Empire from the accession of Queen Victoria to the death of Winston Churchill. It is a towering achievement: informative, accessible, entertaining and written with all her usual bravura. Heaven’s Command, the first volume, takes us from the crowning of Queen Victoria in 1837 to the Diamond Jubilee in 1897. The story moves effortlessly across the world, from the English shores to Fiji, Zululand, the Canadian prairies and beyond. Totally gripping history!

Listen to Pax Britannica: The Climax of an Empire - Pax Britannica, Volume 2.
Download the accompanying reference guide.

©1973 A P Watt Limited (P)2011 Naxos AudioBooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (229 )
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  •  
    Harley 03-16-13
    Harley 03-16-13 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "encompassing"

    If not for the antidotes and footnotes this book would of been dry as toast! Spanning 60 years, Ms Morris has set herself a giant task to explain the British Empire during Queen Victoria's rule. I believe Ms Morris has done a good job. Roy McMillan is outstanding. This is not a book I feel compelled to recommend because of its length and subject matter, but if the basic description makes the book sound interesting then it probably is a fit for you.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous Wheat Ridge, CO, United States 03-06-13
    Anonymous Wheat Ridge, CO, United States 03-06-13 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Know what you are getting into.."

    This is not an accessible book for Americans (at least after the first couple chapters). There are too many descriptions of architecture in far flung parts of the British empire and lots of references to notable families and people (most of whom I have never heard of).

    That being said, many chapters provide compelling overviews of the British empire or exciting stories of sieges and wars. And all the chapters are very well written and the narrator is excellent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neil Chisholm Buninyong, Australia 02-24-13
    Neil Chisholm Buninyong, Australia 02-24-13
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    "A trilogy filled with history, wit and information"

    Being an Englishman by birth the Empire was in my blood. My greatAunt's brother in law was something big in the Indian Raj, my GreatUncle mapped the Red Sea, my Grandfathers both fought in it and my parents mourned its passing as though it were a personal loss to the family.

    These three books were filled with fabulous information about all the possessions that made up the empire but particularly about India. I found it all totally fascinating. It was often unbelievable stuff, a country tamed by a courageous individual, daring dos by heros straight out of comic books (or an asylum!) or battles won at tremendous cost either to the English or the natives.

    There was great humour and terrible sadness and all read by Roy McMillan who did a superlative job at narrating it with perfect accents for all the different quotes by great statesmen or colonialists or dominion politicians. Kipling got a good look in as did Churchill and Jan Morris marked the end of the Empire by Churchill's death - he was the last of the true imperialists. Jan Morris visited many of the countries he wrote about and it came across as a personal view of the Empire which made it all the more vivid.

    I loved these books and can not but recommend them most enthusiastically for all history buffs. I know that I will be back to listen to it all again at some stage and as it is some 80 hrs long you don't do that unless you really really enjoyed it!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Damian 09-14-17
    Damian 09-14-17 Member Since 2013
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    "Be rich, impeccable writing"

    of Jan Morris continues to captivate. The narration is on par with the best and the story of British imperialism in India, Africa, and elsewhere – even when tragic – continues to captivate. This is history at its best. Neither fatuous nor condescending, Morris delivers the story with Walter Cronkite dignity, nicely leavened by an incisive wit particularly evident in his delightful footnotes. The news rendered without ignoring or abusing the far seeing panorama of hindsight. Excellent!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Curt 06-05-17
    Curt 06-05-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Wonderful!"
    Any additional comments?

    This book is remarkable. The author paints the history of empire in vivid color and with beautiful style. Although the sheer breadth of the subject means this book is not your best option for in-depth analysis of imperial history, major events and characters are given a masterful and unfailingly interest treatment, and listening to this book was an absolutely delight!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KiraNyres woodinville, wa 05-03-17
    KiraNyres woodinville, wa 05-03-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Masterpiece!"

    Jan Morris' Pax Britannica is an amazing undertaking. This book 1, Heaven's Command will bring history to life for you as it did me. Jan is unapologetically patriotic which is a refreshing perspective these days. Roy McMillan is one of those narrators that are so talented and enjoyable I'm willing to buy anything he narrates even when I already own several copies of the books! I highly recommend this specific version of Heaven's Command instead of the other for sale that is only 7hrs, this long version perfectly follows the books!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Henderson 06-13-15
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    "She Never Tells You What to Think..."

    ... But she does a fine job of telling you what they thought.

    This history of the British Empire is especially strong on the motivations for empire, from ridding the world of slavery (honorable enough) to spreading the word of God (not everyone shared this impulse, of course) to making money to escaping class to eventually simply defending what the forebears had built.

    And Morris' language is so lovely! I want to listen to the whole thing again, just to hear some of those stunning sentences once more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    djbrocc Ellicott City, Maryland United States 01-08-15
    djbrocc Ellicott City, Maryland United States 01-08-15 Member Since 2017
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    "History at its best"

    I LOVE this book. Already downloaded volume 2 and fully expect to order volume 3.
    If all history was written this well, we would all be better off.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanne 11-30-13
    Jeanne 11-30-13
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    "Surprised Me When I Enjoyed This Book So Much!"
    What did you love best about Heaven's Command?

    Informative without being tedious. Covers a lot of territory in an easily understandable way. Felt like I got an excellent, overall view of the time period. Can be doing something else and still get a lot out of this. Easier to understand than I would have imagined.


    What did you like best about this story?

    How it focused on one area of the world at a time and then another area. And then draws it all together. One gets a real feel of what was going simultaneously in the world.


    What does Roy McMillan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Intonations and paragraph breaks excellent. Inclusion of footnotes was seamless and very helpful and informative.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, cause I wouldn't have had the time. Glad I listened to it a little each day so I could assimilate it.


    Any additional comments?

    If one wants to get a very interesting sense of this period in British history, I'd recommend this book. I wanted to learn about the subject and this book provided just what I was looking for. I thought it might be a tedious read and maybe I wouldn't even finish it. But I found it absolutely fascinating and can't wait to listen to the next two parts of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cheribob chicago 04-03-13
    cheribob chicago 04-03-13 Member Since 2015
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    "wonderful history book"
    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed this book. It gave a good overview of the beginning of the British Empire. I especially enjoyed the section on Sir Richard Burton & John Speke's search for the source of the Nike & Stanley's search for Dr Livingston. I also enjoyed the history of the Transvaal. The amazing story of Elphinstone's British army being massacured outside Kabul. Civilazations that don't know history are condemned to repeat it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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