Britain's famous overseas civil services - the Colonial Administrative Service, the Indian Civil Service and the Sudan Political Service - no longer exist as a major and sought-after career for Britain's graduates. In this detailed study the history of each service is presented within the framework of the need to administer an expanding empire. Close attention is paid to the methods of recruitment and training and to the socio-educational background of the overseas administrators as well as to the nature of their work. The prestigious incumbents of Government House are revealingly examined. The impact of decolonisation on overseas officials and the kinds of 'second careers' which they took up are documented. This authoritative narrative history is enlivened by recourse to Service lore and anecdotes.