Why the Sun Finally Set
William Anthony Hay on the decline and fall of the British Empire.
THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE, 1781–1997.
By Piers Brendon. Knopf. 786 pp. $37.50
Rome cast a long shadow over the Western imagination. The British in particular saw themselves as Rome’s spiritual heirs and named the cultural flourishing of the early 18th century an Augustan age, after the emperor who found Rome built in brick and left it...