Horatio Nelson was a naval genius and a natural born predator.
In his private life as in war he was ruthless. A fanatic for duty, at times beyond all sense, he was also a royalist so infatuated with the divine right of kings that he began to see himself as an instrument of God.
At the height of his fame Nelson was half unhinged: a generous man who wanted his wife dead; besotted with Emma Hamilton but jealously unsure of her; at odds with his honourable father; at law with his old mentor Earl St Vincent, and damning the Lords of the Admiralty as a set of beasts.
Written with access to letters and documents and with previously unpublished material, Terry Coleman provides penetrating and true picture of Nelson as we have never seen him before.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 448 pages, illustrations
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- Publication Date: 07/10/2002
- Category: Biography: historical, political & military
- ISBN: 9780747559009
Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.
Review by the.ken.petersen
Words and phrases such as 'revisionist' and 'bracingly modern', both quoted, with pride, amongst the blurb for this book, almost deterred me from reading same: but, a certain meanness lead me to the conclusion that, having paid good brass for it, the least I would get was a good grouse!I shall not afford myself that pleasure, for the tome was excellent. Nelson was presented as a rounded character - neither the unfailing hero who could do no wrong, or the womaniser who turned to men at the last, with an amorous request of Hardy.Not wishing to spend months researching the archives, I only have Terry Coleman's word - and that of a host of quoted sources - to suggest that this is indeed an accurate description of Nelson's life. What I can say, is that it rings true: the ups and downs of an ordinary man are there as well as the pomp of a great one. Too many modern authors try to lay the moral code of today upon historical figures - a mistake which this book skilfully sidesteps. Mr Coleman is not judgemental, he states facts and tries to indicate the moral climate of Nelson's day. I believe that one of the greatest compliments that one can pay to a biography is to say that, were one to meet the subject, one would immediately be in the presence of a friend: now, if you'll excuse me, I must pop out for a chat with my chum, Horatio.