Diplomatic Ladies: New Zealand’s Unsung Envoys

Author(s): Joanna Woods

NZ History/Society

The inside story of New Zealand’s diplomatic wives and daughters over a hundred years of diplomacy, including the part played by the spouses in Baghdad during the first Gulf War, and the perils faced by diplomatic wives in Saigon and Tehran. Based on private letters, MFAT archives and personal interviews, this book gives a unique insight into the workings of diplomatic life and the role of the diplomatic hostess.

In this frank and authoritative account of what living on the cocktail party circuit is really like, the author pulls no punches about the downsides, especially the toll that it takes on the children. Nor does she shrink from recounting a few incidents in which wives or partners have been less than diplomatic. These exciting and entertaining stories not only show what Diplomatic Ladies have contributed to New Zealand’s diplomacy, but also reveal the true nature of the diplomatic world.


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Product Information

Joanna Woods was born in Dublin but has been based in New Zealand for many years. During her husband’s diplomatic career, she has lived in Bahrain, France, Greece, Iran, Italy, the United States and Russia, where she gained her doctorate on Katherine Mansfield from Moscow State University, subsequently published as Katerina: The Russian World of Katherine Mansfield (2001). She is also the author of Facing the Music: A Biography of Charles Baeyertz (2008).

General Fields

  • : 9781877578304
  • : University of Otago Press
  • : University of Otago Press
  • : December 2012
  • : New Zealand
  • : November 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Joanna Woods
  • : Paperback
  • : 292
  • : Colour and Black & white