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The Life of Nelson (1812)

de Robert Southey

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Having entered the British Navy at the age of twelve, Horatio Lord Nelson achieved the rank of captain at the age of twenty. As captain, he was quickly recognized as a magnetic and controversial figure. He triumphed at Cape St. Vincent and the Nile, but failed at Tenefife and Boulogne. With the glories of Copenhagen and Trafalgar yet ahead of him, his ardent passion for Emma Hamilton, the wife of a British Ambassador, cast a heavy shadow over his career. Audacious in battle (he once ignored a superior's order to cease action at Copenhagen by putting his telescope to his blind eye and saying he could not see the signal) and winner of some of Britain's greatest victories, Nelson possessed an extraordinary amount dash and courage, thus rendering him one of history's great romantic figures.… (més)

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Southey is perhaps best known as the friend of Wordsworth and Coleridge in their early "Lake Poet" days who wrote some often denigrated but in my experience readable verse fantasies (the Curse of Kehama etc.) and a vast amount of semi-scholarly prose. The Life of Nelson is part of this output, perhaps the first serious professional attempt at a biography of the recently dead hero of Trafalgar. It is frankly partial to its subject (since Southey had renounced his early radical idealism by this time)but is still read as a useful expression of how Nelson's contemporaries saw him.
This edition includes a brief anonymous introduction on Southey's life and works. ( )
  antiquary | Jun 9, 2017 |
An old friend from long ago and far away. Still a standard for Nelson lovers. ( )
  Peacock1 | Apr 29, 2012 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Robert Southeyautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Fenwick, KennethEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Holmes, RichardEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Macmillan, MichaelEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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Many Lives of Nelson have been written; one is yet wanting, clear and concise enough to become a manual for the young sailor, which he may carry about with him till he has treasured it up for example in his memory and in his heart. In attempting such a work I shall write the eulogy of our great national hero, for the best eulogy of NELSON is the faithful history of his actions, and the best history must be that which shall relate them most perspicuously.
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TO JOHN WILSON CROKER ESQ.,
LL.D., F.R.S.,
SECRETARY OF THE ADMIRALTY;
WHO, BY THE OFFICIAL SITUATION WHICH HE SO ABLY FILLS,
IS QUALIFIED TO APPRECIATE ITS HISTORICAL ACCURACY;
AND WHO,
AS A MEMBER OF THE REPUBLIC OF LETTERS,
IS EQUALLY QUALIFIED TO DECIDE UPON ITS
LITERARY MERITS,
THIS WORK
IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED BY HIS FRIEND,
THE AUTHOR
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HORATIO, son of Edmund and Catherine Nelson, was born September 29, 1758, in the parsonage-house of Burnham Thorpe, a village in the county of Norfolk, of which his father was rector.
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"Take care of my dear Lady Hamilton, Hardy take care of poor Lady Hamilton. Kiss me, Hardy," said he. Hardy knelt down and kissed his cheek; and Nelson: said, "Now I am satisfied. Thank God I have done my duty." Hardy stood over him in silence for a moment or two, then knelt again and kissed his forehead. "Who is that?" said Nelson; and being informed, he replied, "God bless you, Hardy." And Hardy then left him —for ever.
"I should be very happy," he replied, "to receive authentic intelligence of the destination of the French squadron, their route, and time of sailing. Anything short of this is useless; and I assure your excellency, that I would not upon any consideration have a Frenchman in the fleet, except as a prisoner. I put no confidence in them. You think yours good; the queen thinks the same; I believe they are all alike. Whatever information you can get me I shall be very thankful for; but not a Frenchman comes here. Forgive me, but my mother hated the French."
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Wikipedia en anglès (3)

Having entered the British Navy at the age of twelve, Horatio Lord Nelson achieved the rank of captain at the age of twenty. As captain, he was quickly recognized as a magnetic and controversial figure. He triumphed at Cape St. Vincent and the Nile, but failed at Tenefife and Boulogne. With the glories of Copenhagen and Trafalgar yet ahead of him, his ardent passion for Emma Hamilton, the wife of a British Ambassador, cast a heavy shadow over his career. Audacious in battle (he once ignored a superior's order to cease action at Copenhagen by putting his telescope to his blind eye and saying he could not see the signal) and winner of some of Britain's greatest victories, Nelson possessed an extraordinary amount dash and courage, thus rendering him one of history's great romantic figures.

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