"A great nation makes great men, a small nation makes little men.” - James Anthony Froude"One of the most brilliant men of letters of the last generation." -The Monthly Review, 1906"A man whose writings have a permanent place in the literature of England." -Life of Froude, 1905"Oceana was by far the most popular of Froude's books...and sold over 100,000 copies in nine months." "This once unmistakable literary voice for more than a half century succeeded in stimulating, provoking, and inspiring thousands of readers, and in scandalising, antagonising, and exasperating at least as many more." -James Anthony Froude: An Intellectual Biography of a Victorian ProphetIt seldom happens that a man of genius and a master of English style records his experience as a traveler. In 1884, James Anthony Froude (1818 –1894), one of the best known historians of his time, made a tour among the British colonies to talk to their leading men, see their countries and what they were doing there, learn their feelings, and correct whatever erroneous impressions he himself shared in common with his countrymen.In his tour of colonies, Froude visited South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., and the West Indies. From these travels, he produced two books, Oceana, or, England and Her Colonies (1886) and The English in the West Indies (1888), which mixed personal anecdotes with Froude's thoughts on the British Empire. As a leading promoter of the imperialist excitement of the closing years of the century, Froude intended, with these writings, "to kindle in the public mind at home that imaginative enthusiasm for the Colonial idea of which his own heart was full ." In describing the basis for his attraction to the idea of empire, Froude writes: "A man who is more than himself, who is part of an institution, who has devoted himself to a cause—or is a citizen of an imperial power—expands to the scope and fullness of the larger organism; and the grander the organization, the larger and more important the unit that knows that he belongs to it. His thoughts are wider, his interests less selfish, his ambitions ampler and nobler. … A great nation makes great men, a small nation makes little men.”The "Oceana" of which Mr. Froude here writes is made up of all the lands upon which the English-speaking nationalities of our times have become domiciliated, and to which they have carried their home-learned ideas and habits, making, as Sir Charles Dilke would say, a "Greater Britain" outside the original British Islands.Froude has no narratives of imminent peril or hairbreadth escapes to relate, but his descriptions of natural scenery, of men, their cities and manners, and aspirations, are written in that clear crisp English and with that charm of literary finish, which have given all he has hitherto written a permanent place in our literature.Froude's travel descriptions are vivid, and his reflections are instructive even to those who may sometimes question his conclusions. He takes no trouble to conceal the fact that his opinions on colonial questions were formed before he found in his late expedition additional proof that he was in the right. The cordial hospitality of his new friends at Melbourne, or Sydney, or Auckland, was doubly acceptable to a visitor who was an enthusiastic advocate not of the federation, but of the unity, of the mother-country with the English-speaking Colonies.In his concluding remarks, Froude notes that "the power is now with the Democracy, and it remains to be seen whether the democracy is wiser than those whom it has supplanted, and whether it will exert itself to save, for the millions of whom it consists, those splendid territories. If the opportunity is allowed to pass from us unused, England may renounce for ever her ancient aspirations."