The British Vew

The recent British ambassador to Washington takes a generous-spirited but clear-eyed look at the document that, as he points out, owes its existence to King George III

The guest at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., leaves his car and is ushered through a comparatively modest, low-ceilinged entrance hall. The architect, Edwin Lutyens, wished to surprise him, for the entrance hall opens up into a magnificent double staircase that mounts toward the still more opulent reception rooms above, the central feature of which is a sixty-six-yard-long corridor. It is Lutyens’s equivalent of Beethoven’s transition to the finale of his C Minor Symphony. “Lovely corridors,” said a distinguished predecessor of mine, before my wife and I came.Read more »

The Peaceable Ambassadors

Two adroit diplomats successfully prevented an open breach between London and Washington during the Civil War

No two countries have ever had more reason to he grateful to their diplomats than England and the United States at the time of the Civil War. More than once during those four years, if the American minister in London or the British minister in Washington had made a false step, or even pressed an advantage too far, the whole rickety structure of neutrality would have collapsed. Charles Francis Adams, for his part, was not unaware of the role he had played.

 
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