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Admiral Lord Nelson: His Context and Legacy Hardcover – September 15, 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 1St Edition edition (September 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1403939063
  • ISBN-13: 978-1403939067
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,610,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Cannadine is Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Professor of British History at the University of London. His many books include The Pleasures of the Past, History in Our Time, The Rise and Fall of Class in Britain and Ornamentalism: How the British Saw their Empire.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on August 22, 2005
I cannot think of another Briton who has had more written about them for as long a time as Nelson. Now we are approaching the 200 year anniversary of his death at the Battle of Trafalgar. And we are hearing again of his famous signal 'England expects every man will do his duty.' And his famous last words 'Thank God I have done my duty.'

In this new book, nine noted historians contributed articles. Each views Nelson's life and legacy in a different light. In Part 1 of the book the subjects are Seamanship, leadership, orgiginality, Friendship, Freemasonry, Fraternity, Manliness, patriotism and body politics.

Of particular interest was Kate Williams article Nelson and Women which discusses how Nelson was marketed to the female consumer of the time. This included romance novels, fantasies about how sailors whould behave, and various consumer items offered for sale. This is a view of early nineteenth century England not seen before.

Part 2 of the book goes into the Nelson legacy. This legacy didn't just happen, it was carefully constructed by the British Navy, Government and others. They did a good job, the legacy has now lasted for 200 years and shows no sign of dimenishing.

A most interesting book that discusses parts about Nelson that haven't been emphasized.
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A short list of legendary naval commanders would be topped by one name: Horatio Nelson. A similar list of legendary naval battles would begin with Trafalgar. Then too, a list of legendary commanders with scandalous private lives would include HN somewhere near the top. The various aspects of the life, military career and legacy of this multi-faceted Briton is the subject of David Cannadine's interesting collection of essays by noted English and American historians, educators and authors on the "immortal memory."

The essays contained in this 2005 Palgrave Macmillan release were adapted from lectures given at the University of London in 2004 in honor of the 200th anniversary of the Trafalgar victory. Four essays examine the Context of Nelson's life; four, Nelson's legacy. The former touch on such subjects as Nelson and the British Navy, Nelson and His 'Band of Brothers,' Nelson and the British people and, finally, Nelson and Women!?! The latter cover the creation of the Nelson legend, Nelson's burial service, the global growth of the Nelson myth and, lastly, Nelson's impact on world navies.

If you're looking for a full-blown biography of Nelson, ADMIRAL LORD NELSON, CONTEXT AND LEGACY isn't that book. While it does include some biographical information, it's rather a dry yet interesting assessment - or perhaps re-assessment - of the world's most iconic naval commander. The various essays speak to Nelson's rise in the RN; his seamanship and combat strategies; his leadership style; his popularity with the various social classes in England; the effect his private life had his social standing; his influence on other nations' navies; the creation and evolution of the Nelson mythology; etc.
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