"Altogether admirable... the range and richness of Running the Show defies reviewers' analysis. A wonderful performance."
Jan Morris, The Times
"Williams' research is exhaustive; her descriptions of the colonial life splendidly evocative. What emerges is a valuable picture of what empire-building was like: not the well-oiled machine of legend, but rather, an 'ad hoc and messy' affair, with the odd redeeming success."
David Evans, Financial Times
"Consistently surprising, frequently stirring and often very funny... Williams is never dull. She has a fluent, engaging style and a finely tuned ear for an anecdote. She also pays proper attention to her subjects’ romantic entanglements - a combination of hot climates, plentiful supplies of booze and boredom sounding the death knell for numerous colonial marriages...a delight."
John Preston, Daily Mail
"An excellent book."
Douglas Hurd, The Spectator
"Richly detailed and hugely enjoyable"
Piers Brendon, The Sunday Times
"Admirably readable...like stories from a bygone Boys Own Paper"
David Goodall, The Tablet
"Her portraits sparkle."
Christopher Sylvester, Daily Express
"Much to enjoy....an amusing and lively book, stuffed full of anecdotes and interesting titbits."
Amanda Foreman, New Statesman
Running the Show
A vivid portrait of the British Empire, told through episodes from the lives of governors from around the globe
'May God forgive us for our sorry deeds and for our glorious intentions'
So wrote Hugh Clifford, while he was acting governor of Trinidad, in 1904.
From Nigeria to Fiji, Australia to Sri Lanka, Running the Show is a kaleidoscope of people, places and events – and stories of how, for better or worse, British governors attempted to bring order to often chaotic situations. Brilliantly written it sheds new light on the day to day running of the Empire as it rose to its height under Queen Victoria.
More on Running the Show
Stephanie Williams is a writer with special interests in history, Russia, China and contemporary architecture. She is currently working on her first novel.
Running the Show:
Governors of the British Empire
the building of Norman Foster’s