This is the story of the shadowy Intelligence Division of the British War Office and its unsung role in the formation of the Victorian Empire and imperial policy-making from Asia to Africa. With its focus on the heady days between the Crimean War and the establishment of the MI departments in the early years of the twentieth century, Under Every Leaf tells how Britain was well served by an extensive and sophisticated secret intelligence service which few even knew existed – then or now. Drawing from an encyclopaedic array of primary and little-known sources,Under Every Leaf is a rollicking good tale of brains over brawn, adventure, success and sacrifice, craftiness and commitment in the service of the greatest empire the world has ever known.
“an impressive insight into the world of Britain’s first intelligence officers ” – Jad Adams, Sunday Telegraph
“does much to restore the “missing dimension” that secret service historians are always talking about” – Bernard Porter , The Guardian
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A former operational intelligence officer, William Beaver was the Beit Senior Scholar in Imperial History at Wolfson College, Oxford. There he developed an interest in the history of intelligence organisations in the nineteenth-century. After taking his doctorate, he founded, and was the Executive Director of, the University’s Development Records Project, collecting the records and recollections of those involved in the development of Africa, the West Indies and non-Indian Asia on the eve of independence, for Rhodes House of the Bodleian Library.
Then followed by a career in commercial and charitable corporate communications including Barnardo’s, National Westminster Bank, AGB Research, the Industrial Society and the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England. Before returning to the world of history, he was responsible for the face-to-face communications worldwide of the Lord Mayor of London, including the preparation of literally thousands of speeches, the activity for which he is best known.
Bill is also a parish priest in the Church of England, serving in Oxford. In 2009 he was appointed an Officiating Chaplain to the British Army and is currently posted to the Household
Cavalry Mounted Regiment and the Royal Military Chapel (the Guards’
Read by PETER OWEN (The Man Who Would Be Jack, Red Dusk & The Morrow)
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