Eclipse of empire

Jan Morris Hong Kong: the End of an Empire
Penguin 1990 (1989)

Even though the cover of the edition I have sports the subtitle ‘Epilogue to an Empire’, the correct subtitle to Jan Morris’ Hong Kong is ‘The End of an Empire’. The latter is a more accurate description in that even this 1990 updating still long preceded the handing over of the colony to mainland China in 1997, the date that is a truer encapsulation of the eclipse of Empire.

What this revision does do, however, is to take into account the social and cultural repercussions of the Tiananmen Square massacre which took place in the year which intervened between hardback and paperback, an inauspicious augury for the run-up to 1997 which Morris discusses in the closing pages.

I had two justifications to read this book, if any were needed. Continue reading “Eclipse of empire”