In 1955 the winds of change were beginning to blow across the sultanate of Oman, a hitherto truly medieval state.
Rumours of subversion mingled with the unsettling smell of oil to propel the Sultan on a royal progress across the desert hinterland, from his southern capital of Salala to the northern capital of Muscat. It was an historic journey – the first crossing of the Omani desert by motorcar. Jan Morris accompanied His Highness Sultan Said bin Taimur as a professional observer, and was inspired by the experience to write her major work of imperial history, the Pax Britannica trilogy.
‘A minor literary masterpiece.’ New Statesman
‘The book is a hymn to a lost culture and a lost society; romantic without being sentimental, often extremely funny and brilliantly observed. It is the work of a great travel writer incapable of producing a trite or ungainly sentence.’ Daily Telegraph
Melancholy but Marvellous
The capital of nowhere – could anywhere be more tantalizing? For those of us increasingly blasé or wary about visiting ‘somewheres’ the world over, many of them the target of hordes of other...Read more
Dominion over Palm and Pine
When people ask me what they should read about the Empire, I suggest they go to the five volumes of the Oxford History of the British Empire, where they will find a mass of recent research...Read more
A Leap into the Light
I first met Jan Morris in the offices of the publisher Random House in New York in the early 1980s. I was a junior editor there, and was invited to meet someone I considered to be one of the most...Read more
Conundrum | Chapter 7: Rescued – a grand love . . .
Love rescued me from that remote and eerie capsule, as it rescued me from self-destruction, and everything they say about love, in dicta sublime as in lyric abysmal, is demonstrably true. I have...Read more