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Esme Howard (1863-1939), 1st Baron Howard of Penrith, was one of Britain's most important diplomats of the early part of this century. Linguistically and diplomatically gifted, he was an integral member of the small group of men who made and implemented British foreign policy between 1900 and 1930, a critical transitional period in Britain's history as a world power. The years between 1890 and 1903, which preceded Howard's major diplomatic achievements, are seen as crucial to his development, years when his marriage, his conversion to Catholicism, his foreign travel, and his work with London's working classes moulded the confidence and strengths of his later character. Thereafter, the book covers Howard's personal and historical importance as consul general in Crete, Budapest and Berne and at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, and as ambassador at Madrid (1919-24) and Washington (1924-30). Made possible by the recent discovery of Howard's private papers, this well-informed and readable biography of a hitherto neglected figure will eliminate a major gap in the history of twentieth-century British foreign relations by giving Howard's career its first full treatment.