G.R. Berridge, University of Leicester
ISBN 978 90 04 16035 4 Hardback (xxviii, 268 pp.)
List price EUR 75.00 / US$ 99.00
History of International Relations, Diplomacy, and Intelligence, 1
Gerald Fitzmaurice (1865-1939) served as a dragoman in Constantinople before the First World War. Intriguer, negotiator, intelligence-gatherer, propagandist, and awe-inspiring expert on Ottoman affairs, this feverishly energetic man had exceptional influence with Turkish ministers as well as British diplomatists. Nevertheless, the 'wizard of Stamboul' left no papers or memoirs, and has remained an elusive figure. Drawing on hitherto unexploited archives, including school records and indiscreet private letters retained by others, this biography provides the first full assessment of his impact on events, often thought malign. It also throws light on the history of diplomacy, for Fitzmaurice is one of a long-neglected class: 'ministers of the second order', who paid the bribes, took the risks, and negotiated while ambassadors slept.