There was mounting evidence that Russia, using the latest technology, the telegraph, was successfully deciphering the British government’s enciphered communications throughout the second half of the 19th century. But it was only with the opening of the Russian archives that the full extent of Russian cipher breaking became clear. By reading the dispatches of British diplomats, Russia secured an invaluable tool in pursuing its ambitions in Europe and Central Asia.
Barbara Emerson read PPE at Oxford University and studied for a year at the Center for International Affairs, Harvard University. Later she held a fellowship at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford. She is the author of three biographies and has recently completed a book on Anglo-Russian Relations in the 19th Century.