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The British Empire: An Equivocation

Jan Morris updates her feelings on the British Empire after a lifetime writing about it. Illustrated by musical choices, she reflects upon what she calls 'that vast old dominion'.

Jan Morris is probably best known for her writing about the world's great cities. But she says her real fascination over her long life has been what she calls that 'vast old dominion', the British Empire. Her 'Pax Britannica' trilogy took her ten years to write and in his programme she records how her feelings about British imperialism have changed over the years. Illustrated with her choice of music, she relates how, in her view, the Empire brought both the best and the worst out of the people who ruled it. In practice it was at heart exploitative, mostly unfair and sometimes cruel. But on the other hand it gave many of its more principled colonial administrators a strong sense of duty, service and purpose. And never since has Britain felt so clear about its place in the world. Jan Morris really is in two minds about the British Empire, which is why she has called it 'An Equivocation.'

Producer: Gareth Jones, BBC Wales.

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Wed 27 Jun 2018 21:30

Music Played

  • Edward Elgar

    LAND OF HOPE AND GLORY

    Performer: Vera Lynn.
    • VERA LYNN REMEMBERS THE SONGS THAT WON WORLD WAR 2.
    • EMI.
    • 7243 8-292322 0.
  • Edward Elgar

    Pomp and circumstance marches Op.39

    Performer: Benjamin Luxon. Performer: BBC S O.. Performer: BBC Symphony Chorus.
    • HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE LAST NIGHT OF THE PROMS.
    • BBC ENTERPRISES.
    • BBCCD-580.
  • Gordon Walker

    Lochaber No More

    • Highland Laddie.
    • Highland Classics.
    • HCLA-C110A.
  • Johann Nepomuk Hummel

    Overture in D major s148, arr. from "Overture" in the Singspiel "Die gute Nachricht"(Op.61)

    Performer: London Mozart Players.
    • CHANDOS : CHAN-9925.
    • CHANDOS.
    • CHAN 9925.
  • Slim Dusty

    Waltzing Matilda

    • na.
    • na.
    • na-na.
  • Frank Sinatra

    ON THE ROAD TO MANDALAY

    • COME FLY WITH ME.
    • CAPITOL.
    • CDP-7484692.
  • The Palm Court Orchestra

    KASHMIRI LOVE SONG

    • Victorian and Edwardian 1850-1910.
    • Sonoton Music.
    • SCD-0710.
  • Peter Dawson

    KASHMIRI LOVE SONG

    • Drawing Room Ballads.
    • EMI.
    • CDP 7 98994 2.
  • William Walton

    Orb and sceptre - coronation march

    Performer: Bournemouth S O. Performer: Waynflete Singers. Performer: Winchester Cathedral Choir.
    • ARGO : 436-120 2.
    • ARGO.
    • 436-120 2.
  • Gilbert & Sullivan

    The Pirates of Penzance, or The slave of duty - comic opera

    Performer: D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus. Performer: D'Oyly Carte Opera Orchestra.
    • That's Entertainment CDTER21188.
    • That's Entertainment.
    • CDTER21188.
  • Cowbridge Male Voice Choir Cor Meibion-y-Bontfaen

    The day thou gavest, Lord is ended

    • Sacred and Special.
    • Sain.
    • SCD 2253.

Broadcasts