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3.0 out of 5 starsTINY TINY Font!!!!
Reviewed in the United States on November 1, 2017
To be honest I have not read this book yet - it just arrived. However - BE AWARE THAT THIS IS TINY, TINY PRINT!!!!! I can see fine - I don't even wear glasses, but I am telling you - if you have any vision issues I would not order this book. I don't know the font size, but the CAPITAL letters are just a hair over 1/16" tall. So just be forewarned. I hope the book is worth getting through the small print!
4.0 out of 5 stars) I suppose that there have been better, more objective biographies written
Reviewed in the United States on April 9, 2015
This book gives quite a lot of detail in the life of a remarkable man. Even given the Victorian writing style, I was fascinated and read it clear through. Clearly the author knew and deeply respected Lord Nelson, which we need to consider when we read all the praise he heaps on the admiral's head. The thing to remember is that everyone else at the time was just as lavish with their praise. (Except for when they mentioned Lady Hamilton.) I suppose that there have been better, more objective biographies written, but this one is such a good read that it is still well worth reading.
Unlike some of the other reviews, I didn't find this book to very easy to read. The author assumes that the reader knows many of the people that bounce in and out of the historical events, as well as other technical / seafaring terms. The book would have benefitted frm having some maps placed in conjunction with some of the battles. The narrative on the Battle of Copenhagen I found very hard to follow. However, I did enjoy the book.
4.0 out of 5 starsif you enjoy learning about naval history in the age of sail
Reviewed in the United States on August 28, 2015
Detailed naval life of Horatio Lord Nelson which is rich in illustrating his professional career, personal integrity, and fair dealings with his officers, sailors, colleagues and enemies alike. Extraordinary man! The authors perspective does not include many details from his personal life, and tends to dismiss and cover personal faults. Nevertheless, if you enjoy learning about naval history in the age of sail, and of one of the bravest naval officers of that time, that led England into extraordinary victory, then this is an enjoyable read!
3.0 out of 5 starsContemporary Biography of Nelson
Reviewed in the United States on November 3, 2012
Robert Southey wrote this biography of Horatio Lord Nelson less than a decade after Nelson's death in 1805. The early 19th Century literary style typically rambles, but at other times concentrates on fascinating insight. Also, having been published so close to the life and times of Nelson, the author assumes the reader recognizes names, places, and political alliances which lie in a veiled fog for the casual 21st Century American reader. Perhaps a more modern "history" would be appropriate for many. The Life of Nelson is still none the less, fascinating.
If you don't know who Admiral Lord Nelson is, you're missing out on the true story of one of the most naturally heroic men to ever grace creation. His life wouldn't make a good movie because no one would believe it possible. This telling of his story is excellent because the author actually was impressed with the man!
Southey's "Life of Horatio Lord Nelson" takes some effort to read due to the time it was written, with many nautical terms to puzzle through, along with the language of the day, but is is well worth the effort. Southey's prose lets you be transported to the action whille taking care of a full description of the political aspects then apparent. I would term it "The Unlikely Hero" for all the mishaps and uncertainties Nelson suffered along the way. To the British public he was indeed like our rock stars of today.
2.0 out of 5 starsHow to make a great life a dull account...
Reviewed in the United States on April 9, 2014
This was free, so how much can I complain? As an English teacher, I was interested in learning more about Lord Nelson since he functions as a foil in Melville's Billy Budd, which I teach.
The information in the text was helpful, but its presentation was exceedingly dull. It's a shame such a demonstrative life cannot be more compellingly related. I'm sure it is in other texts that are out there.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 28, 2018
I have to admit, other than oft quoted cliched internet phrases I didn’t know an awful lot about Nelson. I knew of Trafalgar, his death & ‘that kiss’. Robert Southey’s book was published in 1916 & since then a glut of ‘the real & in depth’ biographies have emerged. But I doubt that they’d offer much more. Nelson was as flawed as all ‘heroes’ are but his utter devotion to duty, at the cost to his mortal being, puts him above most people in my humble opinion. There’s a ‘Column’ in London for a VERY GOOD REASON!!!
A superb book that is more than informative, is has a depth of feeling that is wonderfully narrated throughout. The names of ships are highlighted which helps with note taking, and although you know where the book and the story is going the narrator takes you there in a brilliant emotional journey. I heartily recommend this book, author and the narrator Andrea. And although being a 'pongo' look forward to the next 'Trafalgar day'.
I have always been fascinated by Nelson and thought I might learn a bit more about him from this book. I did, but I found it hard going and ended up skimming through quite a lot of it. Normally I enjoy books written in ‘old fashioned’ English, but I found this long winded and tedious in places.
More importantly, there were mistakes - for example, the Author stated that when Nelson first met his wife (Frances Nisbet) she was a 17 year old widow with a 3 year old son. A quick check on Wikipedia proved this to be obviously incorrect. Then Josiah Nisbet was referred to as Nelson’s son in law whereas he was his stepson. At this point I lost faith in the accuracy of the book, but perhaps Robert Southey was not very interested in the private part of Nelson’s life, and hopefully the naval information was more accurate.
I am still in awe at Nelson’s prowess at sea and as a Leader, but his treatment of his wife once Lady Hamilton was on the scene is not impressive, so I have to confess to having gone off him a bit !
5.0 out of 5 starsOne of the best early biographies for free
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 8, 2018
Robert Southey the lost Lakeland poet - he's never mentioned. Poet Laureate and author of Goldilocks and the 3 bears. His life of Nelson is well and clearly written and one of the first modern biographies - Well worth a read especially as its free.