Admiral Lord Nelson: Context and Legacy by D. Cannadine

By D. Cannadine

Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson was once a colorful and complicated personality, whose supremely profitable naval occupation speedy attained mythical prestige. by means of 1803 he used to be Britain's paramount hero and already maimed with the lack of an arm and blind in a single eye. He again to conflict while known as again in might and spent another years at sea ahead of demise on the conflict of Trafalgar in 1805. at the present time, centuries after his loss of life, the 'immortal reminiscence' of Nelson endures. during this publication, major historians offer an intensive reappraisal of his lifestyles and occasions.

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It may also account for the otherwise often enigmatic character of a relationship that survived the acrimonious break-up of Nelson’s marriage in 1801 and Davison’s imprisonment for electoral corruption in 1804. Nelson’s contact with masonic culture also informed the loyalty he felt towards Nelson and His ‘Band of Brothers’ 37 other male friends and colleagues in his circle regardless of their oftenmanifold faults. By comparison this hidden sense of duty was often lacking in his uneasy dealings with women, who were excluded from freemasonry, most notoriously in his treatment of his wife Fanny.

The key to Nelson’s remarkable personal appeal lay in the amalgam of ardour and naivety. 26 He was a stranger to half-measures, to reservations, to fears. Uninterested in appearances, he burnt with direct, uncompromising and entirely unfeigned zeal. Nervous, irritable, sometimes anguished and often ill with the strain of unsupported responsibility, he never tried to conceal his feelings. His vanity was as artless as the rest of his personality, and went with an inimitable magnanimity which rejoiced at the successes of his friends and lamented the misfortunes even of rivals like Hyde Parker and Calder who had treated him badly.

The problem now was to guess where in the world Villeneuve, and the Spanish ships he had collected from Cadiz, might be bound. An obvious possibility was to the northward, to join the other French squadrons, enter the Channel in overwhelming force, and cover Napoleon’s invasion. This was the greatest risk, to counter which the standing practice of British admirals in such a situation was to fall back on the Western Approaches and join the Channel Fleet. Sir John Orde, commanding the squadron off Cadiz, had done so already, and Nelson was preparing to follow suit when, off Cape St Vincent, he learnt from a Portuguese warship that Villeneuve’s ships had steered westward, across the Atlantic.

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