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War was never Sir Edward Grey’s métier

12 December 2020

9:00 AM

12 December 2020

9:00 AM

Statesman of Europe: A Life of Sir Edward Grey T.G. Otte

Allen Lane, pp.858, 35

This meaty but easily digested biography pivots around the events either side of that fateful evening of 4 August 1914 when Britain’s ultimatum to Germany over Belgium ran out and Sir Edward Grey memorably remarked that the lamps were going out over Europe.

As foreign secretary for almost a decade before that, Grey had deftly orchestrated a web of alliances designed to keep the peace in Europe, and Britain the dominant global power.

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