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Spies in the Empire

Victorian Military Intelligence

Stephen Wade

Spies in the Empire

The dramatic origins of Britain's Secret Service: from its haphazard beginnings to the formation of the world's leading intelligence agency.

Imprint: Anthem Press
ISBN 9781843312628
July 2007 | 290 Pages | 198 x 127mm / 7.8 x 5 | 30+ b/w plates
PRICE:  £9.99  /  $18.99  Buy from Amazon.co.uk  Buy from Amazon.com

About This Book

'Stephen Wade has provided a popular, readable account of the emergence of military intelligence in Britain in the nineteenth century.' —John Reed, Professor of English, Wayne State University

There have been a great many books written on military intelligence and the secret services rooted in the twentieth century; however there is very little covering the activities of the men involved in the establishment of this fascinating institution. Its origins lie in the British Army: from the beginnings in the Topographical Department to the Boer War, when various factors made the foundation work of the eventual MI5 (founded in 1909) possible. Incredibly, there were two vast armies in the 1840s, both serving the state and Queen, yet no formally organized military intelligence bureau. Such ignorance of the enemy brought about many botched and bloody encounters, such as the notorious ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’. The thrilling story of the various intelligence sources for the armed forces throughout the Victorian period is one of individuals, adventurers and small, ad hoc bodies set up by commanders when the need arose.

Stephen Wade’s enthralling book reveals the unsteady foundations of one of the country’s most prominent and renowned organizations, tracing the various elements that gradually composed the intelligence and political branches of Britain’s Secret Service.

Readership: For enthusiasts of military history and political intrigue.

Author Information

Stephen Wade has written and/or edited thirty books. He specialises in true crime and history of crime but has also written on social and literary history.

Table of Contents

Note on Illustrations; Acknowledgement; Preface; Introduction; The Beginnings: Enlightenment Information; Heroes of the Great Game: The Russia/India Axis; The Crimea and the Mutiny; The Intelligence Branch and Professionalism; The Zulu Wars and Egypt; Spies, Informers and the Fenians; Adventurers and Advances; Kitchener and Baden-Powell; The Boer War: Sir John Ardagh and Others; The Foundations of MI5; Spy Mania; Epilogue; Chronology of Main Events; From the Great Game to MI5; Bibliography and Sources; Index