Nelson continues to fascinate academics as well as the general public. He is still considered one of Britain’s greatest heroes and featured within the top ten of the BBC poll of such figures. But why does Nelson still remain such a prominent figure in the national imagination?
In 2005, the bicentenary of the Battle of Trafalgar, Victoria Carolan embarked on a timely reappraisal of Nelson, the myth and the man.
Beginning with Nelson’s early life and an analysis of the condition and practice of the Navy at the time of Nelson’s entry into service, Carolan goes on to examine Nelson’s naval battles before Trafalgar, particularly the pivotal Battle of the Nile in which the then Rear Admiral Horatio Nelson, with a fleet of fourteen ships, captured six and destroyed seven French vessels out of a total of seventeen and in the process achieved one of the most decisive victories in the age of sail and re-established British command of the Mediterranean.
Devoting a full section to the Battle of Trafalgar, Carolan looks in detail at the build-up to the battle, the events and progress of the battle, at the Admirals of the French and Spanish navies and explains why the battle was so decisive in the Napoleonic Wars. She goes on to look at the immediate aftermath of Nelson’s death and his state funeral and then to his legacy, the building of monuments (particularly Trafalagar Square and Nelson’s Column), the development of the Nelson myth, his depiction in film, his value for propaganda purposes during the two world wars and the current state of scholarship on Nelson.
©2005 Pocket Essentials (P)2010 Summersdale Publishers Ltd
This is an adequate rendering of the life and career of England's greatest Naval Commander. However, the reader spits the story out like an angry primary school teacher, eager to go home after a stressful day. Maybe she was short of money and wanted to get to the end of the book as soon as possible, get her pay, and start on her next one. Her speed-reading style also results in her missing the correct intonation in many places. However, despite these annoyances, I managed to reach the end of the 3 hours farily well. Had this been a longer book, I think I may well have got fed up of the reader's style.
"Too short and too rushed"
I came to this after listening to robert southeys' lengthy biography hoping for a more up to date and objective look at Nelson, but I am afraid this is not nearly as good. All the major episodes in nelsons voyages are quickly raced through, although there is some interesting historical information delivered. But the worst thing about it is the narration which is really rushed and off-putting, the audiobook is about 3 hours long but should have taken at least 4 hours to read at a normal pace.
"Nelson "Bye Jove""
I enjoyed this audio programme, although it has a short running time I found it factual and interesting. Nelson was truely a great British hero and this book portrays that wonderfully. My only crititism is I wish it had a longer running time to concentrate Nelson's life in more depth.
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