World War 1 and the Spanish Civil War: as reported by an Ambassador, 1863-1939

Papers of Sir Esme Howard, 1863-1939

Papers of Sir Esme Howard, 1863-1939

Esme Howard was one of the major British diplomatists of the early part of the twentieth century. Howard's abilities led him to hold from 1913 to his retirement in 1930 a series of important posts, culminating in the Washington embassy
Erik GoldsteiBoston University

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See British diplomacy in World War One, the Spanish Civil War and 1920s America.

Esmé Howard (1863-1939) is widely regarded as one of the most influential British diplomats of the early-20th century. Howard held a number of important posts before serving as British Ambassador to the United States between 1924 and 1930. This collection contains Howard’s papers, from private correspondence to professional records. These documents provide an interesting insight into the evolution of British foreign policy during and between the two world wars. 

Note: This collection is accompanied by an online guide written by Erik Goldstein. 


World War 1 and the Spanish Civil War: as reported by an Ambassador, 1863-1939...

Containing 37,288 pages belonging to 54 documents housed in 8 volumes...

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Personal Records

Howards's diaries follow his career through South Africa, Crete, Sweden, England, Geneva, Poland, Madrid and Versailles. Howard's other interests are...

Estate Records

The primary focus of these records is upon the development of the rubber and cocoa plantation syndicate which owned plantations...

General Letters Arranged Alphabetically

Most of this correspondence is on a wide range of topics that arose during 1936; however, some recurring themes are...

General Letters Arranged by Date

General letters dated from 1867 until 1939, includes letters of congratulations to Sir Esme Howard on his elevation to the...


  • During his time as a diplomat, Howard's diaries covered his work in a range of countries. From South Africa between the first and second Boer Wars, to Crete between Greece's two wars to claim the island.
  • The 'Personal Records' also contain extracts from Howard's diary during the Versailles Conference which followed the First World War.
  • Howard's work also led him to correspond with Ramsay MacDonald, Theodore Roosevelt, George Bernard Shaw and the former Irish prime Minister Liam Cosgrave, as well as many other diplomatic contacts.
  • His papers from 'the Psychological Warfare Division on opinion in Sicily' review that division's uses. These items explore whether it might be a good idea to continue some of the division's research after the war.
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