Duncan Grant is an officer in the British Army.
When we first meet him, he holds the rank of Colonel and is happy serving in His Majesty's army. Then he gets seconded to Military Intelligence during the First World War and his life will never be the same. The knowledge he learns in the cloak and dagger world will combine what his already impressive knowledge of military tactics to make him a formidable planner and, in some cases, schemer.
When he retires from the military, his old boss in the Intelligence field will call upon him to handle a few special problems for which he is the best solution. His personal objectives, though, will be definitely his own for what he saw during the War will make him forever against war and he will pretty much devote his life to preventing it.
But sometimes to achieve peace at a high level, he will have to foster insurrection at a lower level and in the course of his recorded career, he will stop a revolution in one place while urging one on in another.
Our first description of Grant came from a senior officer who recalled from just a short time before, "a hot-headed young fellow commanding a battalion of the Inverness Highlanders" who was "feeding a brace of Boches on port and lecturing like a university professor". It is clear from the detailer's attitude that Grant's impertinence would have been punishable except for his amazing successes.
Grant is said to have "a shock of fair hair, bright blue eyes, strong; independent, too". He spoke German like a native and was well up on his understanding of Marx and Nietzsche.
That last part is very important to remember as the exploits of Grant are followed. His deep grasp of the tenets of what would become communism and fascism is what will make his schemes and his actions both entertaining and not a little frightening.