Horatio Nelson, one of the greatest seamen of all times, is the authentic hero of British history. His three great victories — at the battles of the Nile, Copenhagen and Trafalgar — assured him of his country's gratitude : the manner in which they were won added glory to success.
But, as Roy Hattersley shows in this lively biography, Nelson was a man to love as well as to admire. He caught public attention by his equal disregard for the traditions of naval warfare and the canons of conventional morality. He excited the people's imagination by both his zest for battle and his bizarre personal life. He inspired the sailors who fought with him, and the feelings he aroused in the fleet spread through Great Britain.
Nelson believed implicitly in his own destiny, and his death — at the moment when he had extinguished the threat of French invasion for ever — seemed to confirm that each detail of his life was preordained. But, it was his life not his death that set him apart. It was a life committed to glory. That is how the world sees it in retrospect and it is how Nelson saw it at the time.
16 pages of color plates
100 illustrations in black and white
Roy Hattersley was Minister of Defence (Administration) in Harold Wilson's Labour Government. He is the Member of Parliament for the Sparkbrook Division of Birmingham.
In Opposition he became Shadow Secretary of State for Defence. He is now Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Science. In 197o and 1971 he was a visiting Fellow in the Institute of Politics at Harvard University.