Trouw aan Buitenlandse Zaken | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 134, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



This article argues that more attention for the role of diplomats’ partners, who in the studied period were almost exclusively female, offers new insights into the daily practices of Dutch twentieth-century diplomacy. It begins with a short overview of research on diplomats’ wives from other countries. The authors then examine the state of our knowledge about Dutch diplomats’ wives, discussing why there is so little attention for this subject in the Netherlands. Finally, a case study highlights the activities of the wives of two central figures in Dutch diplomacy at the Washington embassy in 1947-1964: Margaret van Kleffens-Horstmann and Anne van Roijen-Snouck Hurgronje. The study shows that daily diplomatic work was in practice a job for two people, with tasks divided along gendered lines. Wives made women’s networks available to male diplomats and did representative, social, and informal work that was considered crucial to diplomatic success.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error