The lives of the Western women who lived, worked and travelled in Arabia in the first half of the 20th century have been largely ignored by historians. Penelope Tuson tells the stories of these women. Sometimes flamboyant and unconventional, sometimes conservative and conformist, all of them wanted in some way to be a part of British imperial life. Some were prepared to "play the game", others were not and could even be regarded as difficult and dangerous. "Playing the Game" explores how these women negotiated power and position in the Empire and how conventional female roles were defined by the masculine perspecitves and hierarchies of imperial authority, often with the collusion of the women themselves actively, but also sometimes despite their attempts to subvert the stereotypes.