Cover image for The last pink bits : travels through the remnants of the British Empire
The last pink bits : travels through the remnants of the British Empire
Ritchie, Harry.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : Sceptre ; N. Pomfret, VT : Distributed by Trafalgar Square, 1998.

Physical Description:
231 pages : map ; 20 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DA11 .R58 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Harry Ritchie takes a trip around the vestiges of the British Empire--the last pink bits on the world map--belatedly attempting to answer the question asked by George V-- How is the Empire?

Author Notes

Harry Ritchie is the author of five other books including Success Stories , about English literature of the 1950s, and The Last Pink Bits , about Britain's remaining colonies. He was born in Kirkcaldy, was educated at Edinburgh University and Lincoln College, Oxford, and now lives in London.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Travel buffs and Anglophiles alike will enjoy this unique tour of seven colonies that are among the 1000 or so territories still part of the British Empire. The title derives from the custom of rendering the British Empire in pink on maps. A former literary editor of the Sunday Times, Ritchie (Success Stories) proves a witty and informative guide to Bermuda, Ascension Island, the Falklands, Gibraltar, Tristan da Cunha, St. Helena, and Turks and Caicos Islands. He found Bermuda, a vacation paradise for the rich, almost too beautiful to be true with economic prosperity and little crime. By contrast, he discovered that residents of St. Helena, where Napoleon was imprisoned from 1815 to 1821, suffer from poverty and unemployment, which, according to the author, results partially from Great Britain's cutbacks in public service and a flawed aid package. Ritchie provides many humorous anecdotes, such as a frustrating and blurry scuba diving experience on Salt Cay (no clothes, no glasses), and vivid descriptions of local personalities. His political observations include a condemnation of Margaret Thatcher for her lack of concern for the inhabitants of the Falklands during the 1982 war and an overview of the complex government of Gibraltar, where much of the citizenry feels abandoned by the British. Ritchie writes with a smooth blend of irony and a faint hint of regret for the Empire's lost grandeur, but he's also serious about one central point: if Britain is to hold on to the remaining pink bits, it has a responsibility to manage them better. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Ritchie possesses a style and wit similar to well-known travel writer Tim Cahill. With his receptive nature, keen observation skills, and delightful sense of humor, Ritchie explores destinations all over the Atlantic. His descriptive prose, liberally sprinkled with historical facts and entertaining anecdotes, captures the ambience of each location and enables readers to grasp the local residents' relationship with their mother country. Readers will come to understand the locals' viewpoint on the Falklands War, why St. Helena is called Britain's Alcatraz, and what it is like to fly 8000 miles in a Royal Air Force plane to the tip of the volcano that is Ascension Island. From the popular tourist destination of Bermuda to the lesser-known Turks and Caicos Islands or the remote island of Tristan da Cunha, Ritchie provides an informative and entertaining perspective on some of Britain's extraterritorial possessions.ÄJo-Anne Mary Benson, Osgoode, Ontario (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.