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The Voice of England in the East: Stratford Canning and Diplomacy with the Ottoman Empire (Library of Ottoman Studies) Hardcover – 30 Mar 2014


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SUPERB. A witty, well-researched and fluent account of the British Empire's most famous and influential diplomat- told with the zest and panache of a thriller. Times, diplomacy and reputations have changed, but Stratford Canning, Britain's imperious envoy to the Ottoman Empire, changed the course of history. Steven Richmond has given us a brilliant portrait of this ambitious but frustrated statesman, lonely, hard- working and often maligned- the only diplomat honoured with a statue in Westminster Abbey. This timely book, appearing when Turkey is again a significant regional power, will appeal not only to students of history and diplomacy but to all those wanting to know more about Britain's imperial heyday. This compelling insight into the politics and strategy of the time paints a vivid picture of daily life, thought and intrigue in that most mysterious of cities, Constantinople.

Michael Binyon, The Times

THIS IS A WONDERFUL BOOK. Steven Richmond's biography of Stratford Canning is the definitive study of the long-time British ambassador at Constantinople, whom Tennyson eulogized as the 'Voice of England in the East'. The book is meticulously researched and given additional depth by Richmond's background in Russian studies and his years of teaching and research in Istanbul. This is that rare scholarly work of history which, like those of Sir Steven Runciman, reads like a novel. It is beautifully written with a superb sense of place and persona, bringing Canning and others to life in the capital of the Ottoman Empire when it was, as Richmond describes ''the diplomatic city par excellence.''

Professor John Freely, Bosphorus University, Istanbul, Turkey; author of Strolling Through Istanbul

STEVEN RICHMOND TELLS THE REMARKABLE STORY OF SRATFORD CANNING, a man sent to Istanbul almost by accident but who became, often reluctantly, a central figure in the 'Eastern Question'. Richmond levels an impartial eye on is subject, noting Canning's virtues and vices. This well-researched and well-written study picks a sure-footed path through the voluminous correspondence of the Eastern Question. The author masterfully analyses what he aptly terms 'The Stratford Legend' and narrates a valuable case study of nineteenth-century British diplomacy in the East. --Benjamin C.Fortna, Professor of the History of the Middle East, SOAS, The University of London.

About the Author

Steven Richmond received his doctorate in Russian history from the University of Chicago in 1996. He taught history in Istanbul, Turkey for more than ten years. He is presently a Research Fellow of the Netherlands Institute of Turkey, and an Associate of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago.

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