How Britain played the Greater Game from Afghanistan to Africa
The little-known true story of Britain's first spies, and a dazzling adventure story set in the darkest heart of Empire.
"Anywhere in the world, where a leaf moves, underneath you will find an Englishman."—Pharsi proverb
Under Every Leaf tells the astonishing true story of the Britain's first spies, and relays for the first time a dazzling adventure story set in the darkest heart of Empire.
We know more about the twentieth century history of Britain's secret intelligence services than ever before, but next to nothing about their Victorian antecedents. This book fills that gap, telling the story of the Intelligence Division of the War Office from 1856 to 1909—when MI6 was founded—and the hidden role that the Intelligence Division played in acquiring Britain's vast empire without a major European or Asian war. In examining its influence in the formation of imperial policy-making and execution, Under Every Leaf is also a rollicking good read, shedding new light on the reality behind the partition of Africa, the Great Game in Asia, brains over brawn, espionage, adventure, and dedicated wholehearted commitment, sacrifice, and service to the Imperial ideal. Under Every Leaf is a major work of imperial history.
William Beaver was born in Colorado and went to Oxford University in England. He is a historian and an officiating chaplain to the British Army.