The British Empire is the dominant power in the world during the events of the series, and is also where the majority of the events in the original trilogy of Bartimaeus titles takes place (though several chapters in The Golem's Eye take place in Prague in the Czech nation, which is nominally under the control of Empire but has been allowed some freedoms).
History of the Empire Edit
The British Empire was established in or slightly after 1868, after the Battle of Prague. After the successful Coup D'etat against the Commoner Parliament in Great Britain by William Gladstone and his subservient magician cohorts (put in the "official" history as an event known as the Long Council, where the parliament apparently willingly unanimously elected Gladstone as Prime Minister after he explained to them the necessity of magician rule), Gladstone established magician rule over Great Britain, and waged a "Counter" war against the Holy Roman Empire, which at the time was the dominant power in Europe, though it had been declining for years.
Utilising a large magical and commoner army, along with the power of his staff, Gladstone tore trough Europe, reaching Prague within a year. At the Siege and subsequent Battle of Prague, the British Army overcame the Czech Empire, and established dominance over Europe.
Most of the Empire's history is not mentioned until the series current time line, though it is mentioned that there have been French and Italian Wars. During the State Address, Rupert Devereaux, the current Prime Minister, mentions that the Empire stretches as far East as Italy and past Germany, possibly latching into the modern day Czech Republic, and that the Imperial forces are encountering success on all fronts, against Czech forces and Italian rebels. The government itself is nearly overthrown by an attempted to Coup by Simon Lovelace, though the attempt is thwarted by Nathaniel and Bartimaeus.
During "The Golem's Eye", the Empire is stirred by dissension and rebellion rising in the American colonies, though the fighting hadn't actually started yet. The Empire suffers several note-worthy embarrassments during the Golem affair, and the fighting in America begins to escalate. Without its armies to hand, the Empire is unable to display its power to Europe.
By the events of Ptolemy's Gate, the Empire is beginning to shudder and crack. The fighting in America, after initial easy victories, has descended into guerilla warfare against the British forces. Many prominent magicians had been killed, including the Foreign Secretary, Marmaduke Fry, who had been assassinated during an attempted peace negotiation. Two of the Empire's fleets int he sea of Japan had been redeployed to America to bolster the campaign, and a huge troop surge in Britain itself caused thousands of soldiers to go to America. All to no avail.
It was during this time that the British government consolidated into "The Council", where seven of the most senior and powerful magicians held the true power of the Empire; Rupert Devereaux the Prime Minister, John Mandrake the Minister of Information and Propaganda, Jane Farrar the sub-commander of the Night police, Jessica Whitwell the Minister of Security, Helen Malbindi the Foreign Minister, Carl Mortenson the Minister of war, and Bruce Collins the Home Secretary. The Council is divided into three factions; Mortenson and Malbindi as the War faction, Whitwell and Collins opposing the war, and Deveraeux, Mandrake, and Farrar making up a third group apparently neutral. Deveraeux being extremely paranoid and exhausted makes no extreme commitment to either faction, as Mortenson pushes for more effort into the war, and Whitwell warns against losing Europe should the war weaken the military any further. Resorting to the old Roman methods, numerous entertainments spring up over London to distract the commoners from their misery. Foreign powers chip away at the Empire's borders.
Near the end of the book, a Coup occurs under the direction of the playwrite, Quinten Makepeace, who essentially decapitates the government, and unwittingly unleashes the demon Lord, Nouda, with an army of human-spirit hybrids into London. The Spirit Rebellion is eventually stopped by Nathaniel, Bartimaeus, Kitty, and an entourage of the lower ranking magicians, killing all of the hybrids and destroying Nouda.
The Government is placed under a joint Magician-Commoner Parliament, where it is decided that the troops in America are to withdraw.
It is unknown what the ultimate fate of the Empire is.
The Empire stretches the majority of Europe, being mentioned to stretch as far east as Prague and as South as Italy. It also has known territories in India, Africa, and America, and has some influence in Japan and Northern Asia.
Mentioned Territories Edit
- Italy/Parts of Italy
- Prussia (modern day Germany)
- North America/ parts of North America
- Parts of Africa, possibly Egypt