Horatio Nelson (1758-1805) was undoubtedly Britain's greatest naval leader and perhaps the greatest sea commander of all time. Although his complex character often made him enemies and led to mistakes in both his public and private life, he was an unrivaled seaman, an original and brave tactician, and a charismatic leader.
Brian Lavery, a renowned expert in naval history, charts Nelson's career from his first naval posting in peacetime, at the age of just 12, to his rapid rise through the ranks, his command of the Mediterranean Fleet in HMS Victory, the transformation of his reputation during the Nile Campaign and his heroic death at Trafalgar. The book examines the forces and events which shaped Nelson's lifethe victories and defeats, and the successes and failuresto discover the reasons for his extraordinary fame, both in his own time and to this day. Lavery sets the events of Nelson's maritime career against the backdrop of his personal lifehis marriage and the scandal of his ménage-a-trois with the Hamiltonsto reveal a man of determination, courage, and daring.
The Battle of Trafalgar continues to represent an ideal of complete and uncompromising victory from the age of the sailing ship, and Horatio Nelson, the hero and victim of that battle, has similarly secured his place as a legend in naval history. Illustrated throughout with contemporary maps, paintings, and letters and original battle plans in Nelson's hand, this book in the Historic Lives series provides a concise and valuable insight into the achievements and life of Lord Horatio Nelson.