François de Callières

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François de Callières: A Political Life

“François de Callières is one of the most important figures in the history of diplomatic thought, and Laurence Pope, who is in the first rank of scholar-diplomats, has produced a biography worthy of him. It is impeccably researched, rich in absorbing detail, comprehensive in its account of his subject’s activities (literary as well as diplomatic), shrewd in its judgments, and written with considerable verve. I enjoyed it immensely.”
G.R. BERRIDGE, former director, Center for the Study of Diplomacy at Leicester University

François de Callières is the author of “On Negotiating with Sovereigns,” an iconic work on diplomacy that has rarely if ever been out of print in English translation since first published in 1716. But Callières, who lived 1645–1717, was more than the author of a single book. From modest provincial origins, he rose to a position of power and influence at the court of Louis XIV, including the directorship of the Académie Française. Laurence Pope’s critical biography of Callières, published by Republic of Letters in The Netherlands, is the 41st volume in the ADST-DACOR Diplomats and Diplomacy Series. Drawing on previously undiscovered archival materials, Pope traces Callières’s long political career, from a first clandestine mission to Poland in 1670 to his advocacy of the failed Franco-Jacobite invasion of Scotland in 1708. He documents the practice of the historical Callières, in contrast to the high-minded theory of “On Negotiating with Sovereigns” (or Princes, as often translated).

Former U.S. ambassador and Foreign Service officer Laurence E. Pope served as political advisor to CENTCOM General Anthony Zinni in 2000, with prior stints in counterterrorism and Middle Eastern affairs. A graduate of Bowdoin College and the Senior Seminar, he also studied at Princeton and the Armed Forces Staff College. He coedited Letters (1694–1700) of François de Calliéres to the Marquise d’Huxelles (Mellen, 2004).

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by Laurence Pope
Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Republic of Letters Publishing, October 2010
280 pp, illustrations, appendices, bibliography, index
Cloth $95 (members' price $65)
Softcover $49 (members' price $35)

"François de Callières, better known for his book On Negotiating with Sovereigns than for his diplomatic accomplishments, was a serious, skillful, and wily negotiator, clearly intelligent, and at times extraordinarily informed. . . . Ambassador Pope’s research is scholarly, extensive and impressive, much of it original. The book is alive, replete with textual quotations, and corrective of some of the accepted wisdom dealing with those days. The style is as perceptive as only a practitioner of the diplomatic art could make it."

ROBERT BARBOUR, former Ambassador to Surinam (1984-1987)