Miklós Bánffy (1873-1950) was a Hungarian nobleman with extensive estates in Hungarian Transylvania (now Romania), first patron of Bela Bartok and briefly Hungarian foreign minister after WW1. His castle and great library were deliberately destroyed by the retreating Nazis in 1944. INTRODUCER BIOGRAPHY: Hugh Thomas is the author of The Spanish Civil War, Cuba, or the Pursuit of Freedom and a trilogy about the Spanish Empire. He was Professor of History at Reading University and has also served in the Foreign Office and as Chairman of the Centre for Policy Studies. His books include novels, biographies and political as well as historical works.He became a Life Peer in 1981 as Baron Thomas of Swynnerton.