'The contact with ...primitive nature and primitive man brings sudden and profound trouble into the heart.' (Joseph Conrad) 'Flowers look loveliest in their native soil ...plucked, they fade, And lose the colours Nature on them laid.' (Toru Dutt) This is the first anthology to gather together British imperial writing alongside native and settler literature in English, interweaving short stories, poems, essays, travel writing, and memoirs from the phase of British expansionist imperialism known as high empire. A rich and starling diversity of responses to the colonial experience emerges: voices of imperial; adventurers, administrators, memsahibs, propagandists and poets intermingle with West Indian and South African nationalists, Indian mystics, Creole balladeers, women activists and native interpreters. Drawn from India, Africa, the West Indies, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, and Britain, this wide-ranging selection reveals the vivid contrasts and subtle shifts in responses to colonial experience, and embraces some of empire's key symbols and emblematic moments. Comprehensive notes and full biographies ensure that this is one of the most compelling, readable and academically valuable source books on the period.