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Although it had lost India just a few years before, the British Empire was still feeling pretty good about itself in 1953. Then, on May 29, the very day of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, came the pride-enhancing news that a British expedition had become the first to reach the peak of Mount Everest, highest in the Himalayas and the world. The London Times correspondent who sent back the word was James Morris, later to become noted travel-book writer Jan Morris. In this evening’s lecture, “Imperial Everest,” the author discusses the 45th anniversary of the conquest of Everest in the context of British imperialism in Asia and the failed promise of “the second Elizabethan Age.” At 6:30 p.m. at the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium, 12th & Jefferson Dr. SW. Free. (202) 357-3200. (Mark Jenkins)