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Chapter Summary

Constantinople was the most remote of all the European capitals at which Britain had permanent diplomatic representation, so distance in itself was a major obstacle to communication. In the pre-telegraphic era, diplomatic messages were carried through Europe in many different ways. The great bulk of British diplomatic mail was consigned to the scheduled or 'ordinary' services of the emerging national post offices, while messengers were used for more urgent communications. The improvement brought by the telegraph to the British Embassy's communications with London did not happen overnight, and even after its main teething problems had been sorted out telegraphic communication continued to have significant disadvantages. By the beginning of the twentieth century the communications of the embassy with London were in very good condition. The telegraph connection was working well and had come down in price. This chapter provides an introduction to the next section of this book.

Keywords: British Embassy; Constantinople; diplomatic messages; telegraphic communications



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