'An absorbing portrait of an extinct type of Englishman.' Sunday Times 'A scintillating, pointillist portrait of the beginnings of a career and a marriage.' Times Harold Nicolson - great diplomat, diarist and raconteur - moved in numerous worlds and knew an extraordinary number of distinguished people. This, the first volume of James Lee-Milne's superb two-part biography, traces the life through Nicolson's nomadic childhood in Budapest, Tehran, Constantinople and Bulgaria, his education at Wellington and Balliol, his independent travels in Europe, his early diplomatic service in Spain, his stormy courtship of and marriage to Vita Sackville-West, and his service to the Foreign Office during the Great War. Subsequently he worked in Paris and there encountered Cocteau, Gide and Proust while also embarking on his own literary career. This volume carries the story up to 1929 when Nicolson joined the staff of the Evening Standard.