Parting Shots

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, Jun 2, 2011 - Ambassadors - 224 pages
11 Reviews

Matthew Parris's Parting Shots is a treasure trove of wit, venom and serious analysis.

Up till 2006 a British Ambassador leaving his post was encouraged to write what was known as a valedictory despatch, to be circulated to a small number of influential people in government. This was the parting shot, an opportunity to offer a personal and frank view of the host country, the manners and morals of its people, their institutions, the state of their cooking and their drains. But it was also a chance to let rip at the Foreign Office itself and to look back on a career spent in the service of a sometimes ungrateful nation.

Combining gems from the archives with more recent despatches obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, Parting Shots sheds light on Britain's place in the world, revealing the curious cocktail of privilege and privation that makes up the life of an ambassador.

'Wonderful ... a glimpse of that lost world of private eloquence and erudite candour' Matthew d'Ancona, Evening Standard

'Unbuttoned, indiscreet and very funny' Yorkshire Post

Matthew Parris had a short career in the Foreign Office where one of his tasks was to distribute incoming valedictory despatches. He was a Conservative MP from 1979 to 1986, since when he has worked as a journalist. He is the author of A Castle in Spain, Parting Shots, and A Spanish Ambassador's Suitcase. He divides his time between Derbyshire (where his old constituency was situated) and east London.

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Review: Parting Shots

User Review  - Ruth Dipple - Goodreads

Instructive and sometimes amusing. Being a diplomat is clearly not as romantic as it appears to be! Read full review

Review: Parting Shots

User Review  - Goodreads

Instructive and sometimes amusing. Being a diplomat is clearly not as romantic as it appears to be! Read full review

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About the author (2011)

David Dyergrew up in a coastal town in NSW, Australia, and graduated as dux of his high school in 1984. After commencing a degree in medicine and surgery at the University of Sydney, he soon decided it was not for him.

David went on to train as a ship's officer at the Australian Maritime College, travelling Australia and the world in a wide range of merchant ships. He graduated from the college with distinction and was awarded a number of prizes, including the Company of Master Mariners Award for highest overall achievement in the course. He then returned to the University of Sydney to complete a combined degree in Arts and Law. David was awarded the Frank Albert Prize for first place in Music I, High Distinctions in all English courses and First Class Honours in Law. From the mid-1990s until early 2000s David worked as a litigation lawyer in Sydney, and then in London at a legal practice whose parent firm represented the Titanic's owners back in 1912. In 2002 David returned to Australia and obtained a Diploma in Education from the University of New England, and commenced teaching English at Kambala, a school for girls in Sydney's eastern suburbs.

David has had a life-long obsession with the Titanic and has become an expert on the subject. In 2009 he was awarded a Commonwealth Government scholarship to write The Midni

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