Valentine Chirol was a unique figure on the world stage in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As Foreign Editor of "The Times of London" from 1899 until 1912, a newspaper then unrivalled in scope and influence, he not only reported on some of the key moments in world history but used his considerable influence to shape them. This was the man referred to by the Chancellor of Germany, Count von Bulow, as "one of the most dangerous enemies" of the German Empire. Valentine Chirol played a singular part in alerting the world to the dangers of conflict as war clouds gathered over a fast modernizing world. A committed imperialist, Chirol travelled tirelessly thoughout the British Empire and supervised an outstanding team of foreign correspondents posted from Tokyo to Tangier, Berlin to Johannesberg. He explained the reasons for wars from South Africa to China, and analysed revolutions in Teheran, Constantinople and St Petersburg. Taken altogether there is no doubt that his voice impinged on the self-selected world of nineteenth century diplomacy.
His sharp eye and insightful comments, coupled with his insider status, called the powerful to account and helped change the atmosphere in which foreign policy decisions were taken. In this wide-ranging biography, Linda Fritzinger paints a skilful portrait of a man at the heart of the greatest events of his period. Including new sources and extracts from Chirol's own elegant and skilful writing, "Diplomat without Portfolio" provides a remarkable view of world history at the dawn of the twentieth century.