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Diplomatic Ladies: New Zealand's Unsung Envoys
by Joanna Woods

ISBN: 9781877578304
PUBLISHER: Otago University Press
FORMAT: Paperback
PAGES: 224
DIMENSIONS: 230mmX155mmX16mm 588grams

Diplomatic Ladies tells the inside story of New Zealand's diplomatic wives and daughters over a hundred years of diplomacy. Based on private letters, MFAT archives and personal interviews, it records many unknown episodes in New Zealand's diplomatic history, including the part played by the spouses in Baghdad during the first Gulf War, and the perils faced by diplomatic wives in Saigon and Tehran. It also gives a unique insight into the workings of diplomatic life and the role of the diplomatic hostess. Starting with Maud Pember Reeves in 1907, the author traces the evolution of New Zealand's diplomatic service through the experiences of the women who accompanied their husbands to posts all over the world. It is a life full of interest and excitement, but in terms of family relationships and personal fulfilment, it comes at a price that many modern women are not prepared to pay. In this frank and authoritative account of what living on the cocktail party circuit is really like, the author pulls no punches about the downsides, especially the toll that it takes on the children. Nor does she shrink from recounting a few incidents in which wives or partners have been less than diplomatic. This is a collection of exciting and entertaining stories which not only shows what the wives have contributed to New Zealand's diplomacy, but also reveals the true nature of the diplomatic world.

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