I list below, in categories corresponding roughly to the chapters in my textbook, Diplomacy: Theory and Practice, 6th ed (2022), books (and a few articles) that I believe valuable to all students of diplomacy. Those dealing with embassy substitutes, such as representative offices, are included under ‘Modern bilateral diplomacy’. The list is obviously not exhaustive. I have tried to restrict myself to recommending my own books to categories where I think other works are a bit thin on the ground. See also my Book Reviews and the ‘Further reading’ at the bottom of the ‘Updating’ pages for each chapter of the textbook.
This page also contains sections on ‘Novels by Former Diplomats and Intelligence Officers’ and ‘Political Thrillers and Historical Novels (by other writers)’.
Atkin, Nicholas, The Forgotten French (2003). A fascinating account of how the French consuls in Britain continued to work after the Fall of France to Nazi Germany in 1940.
Berridge, G. R., Gerald Fitzmaurice (1865–1939), Chief Dragoman of the British Embassy in Turkey (2007) [reviews]. The dragomans who worked for this embassy were members of the Levant Consular Service.
Berridge, G. R., British Diplomacy in Turkey, 1583 to the Present (2009). Ch. 4 (Consuls: trading consuls, and Levantines; Hornby’s Supreme Consular Court; the founding of the Levant Service; political consuls; the consulate-general – controversy and contraction; ‘the step-child of the Foreign Office’).
Hertz, Martin F. (ed.), The Consular Dimension of Diplomacy: A symposium (1983). Chiefly about US consuls. Numerous short contributions defending the importance of consular work.
Kennedy, Charles Stuart, The American Consul: A history of the United States consular service, 1776–1924 (2015). A very thorough account, with a long and useful bibliography.
Lee, Luke T. and John Quigley, Consular Law and Practice, 3rd edn (2008). The ‘bible’ of the subject.
Melissen, Jan and Ana Mar Fernández (eds), Consular Affairs and Diplomacy (2011). A welcome attempt to bring a broader than usual focus on the subject, with five thematic chapters, three on the consular services of the ‘great powers’ (the Russians will have been relieved to see themselves included together with the Americans and the Chinese), and four on the history of the consular institution oddly tacked on at the end – their position does not do them justice.
Platt, D. C. M., The Cinderella Service: British consuls since 1825 (1971). Platt felt strongly about the inferior status accorded the consuls by the diplomats and wrote a persuasive defence of their value.
Roberts, Sir Ivor (ed.), Satow’s Diplomatic Practice, 7th edn (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2018). See Book II.