(Cornell University Press)  The author examines the cultural implications of the rise of modern diplomacy and the intersection of literature and politics at the dawn of modernity. Hampton argues that literary texts use scenes of diplomatic negotiation to explore the relationship between politics and aesthetics, between the world of political rhetoric and the dynamics of literary form. He demonstrates that the issues raised by diplomatic theorists helped shape the emergence of new literary forms, and that literature provides a lens through which we can learn to read the languages of diplomacy. Hampton is a professor of French and holds the Bernie H. Williams Chair of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley.