Despite the popular image of Tibet as a remote and inaccessible land to which few Europeans ventured, more than one hundred British-Indian officials lived and worked there during the years 1904-1947.
Following Colonel Younghusband's 1903-1904 mission to Lhasa, these officers and their supporting staff were posted in central and southern Tibet, and, after 1936-1937, at the British Mission Lhasa. Among those who rose to the senior positions there were such famous frontiersmen as Colonel F.M. Bailey, Sir Charles Bell, and Hugh Richardson. This ground-breaking work draws on previously unpublished sources, both oral and written, to examine the character, role, and influence of these officers. It concentrates on those who formed a small, distinct, group of Tibetan specialists: 'the Tibet cadre'.
These men were diplomatic representatives of the Raj, but they were also scholars, spies, and empire-builders, who not only influenced events in Tibet but also shaped our modern understanding of that land.