From the early nineteenth century onwards the Nizari Ismailis were transformed from a minor and obscure sect surrounded by ill-informed historical legend, into a small but highly organised temporal and religious movement with global political and economic influence. Much of this remarkable change in fortune can be traced to the hitherto little known diplomatic interaction between the British Empire, and later the British Commonwealth, and the Nizari Ismailis, from 1839 to 1969.Marc van Grondelle's book, based on painstaking archival research, examines the processes and interactions which led to the modernisation and successful co-optation by the British government of this comparatively small branch of Shi'a Islam. The author poses several key questions regarding the wider developing relationship between movements in contemporary Islam and 'The West'. In these increasingly polarised times, his discussion of the effective co-optation of a Muslim group to the mutual benefit of both the former and British foreign and colonial policy is timely and suggestive. He investigates the processes and actions that shaped the Ismails' relationship with London, and the social and political conditions that shaped this realignment.