Donald-trump The Pursuit of Victory The Life and Achievement of Horatio Nelson:Donald-trump
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The Pursuit of Victory The Life and Achievement of Horatio Nelson:Donald-trump

Roger Knight
Roger Knight Published in September 19, 2018, 3:21 am
 The Pursuit of Victory The Life and Achievement of Horatio Nelson:Donald-trump

The Pursuit of Victory The Life and Achievement of Horatio Nelson:Donald-trump

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DennisF Reply to on 26 August 2017
Near on 700 pages of text are devoted to the life and times of Horatio Nelson and covers each of the major battles: Cape St Vincent, The Nile, Copenhagen and Trafalgar with much detailed research and critical analysis. It contains remarkable detail and relies on virtually every log entry made by Nelson during his life-time. It also contains much original 18th century text, and correspondence between Nelson and other sailors, to his family, to prime ministers, not to mention to his wife, Fanny, and his mistress, Lady Emma Hamilton. Some of this was hard going and yet helps to convey Nelson’s life and achievements. In his youth, Nelson contracted malaria in the Fens and would be dogged by this infection throughout his life. He was christened Horace but took the name, Horatio. He spent a vast amount of his life at sea. This probably states the obvious but managing ships that relied totally on winds was and indeed is not trivial. Maintaining blockades on French Ports was incredibly fatiguing and for a man like Nelson, relied on somewhat dull but very necessary seamanship. Nelson was a brilliant sailor, a master tactician and possessed courage that bordered on the reckless. For his troubles, he lost an eye and an arm, yet incredibly when a battle descended to hand to hand fighting, he was always in the van of cutlass skirmishes. He was constantly at odds with his superiors, was easily offended and was not always an easy man to get along with. That said, his naval skills and outright kindness endeared him to his subordinates. When the chances came, he allowed and encouraged his captains to show initiative. This bore particular fruit at Trafalgar. However, he was ill at ease during peace time and constantly agitated his superiors for new commands and fresh missions. There is so much more I could write but it would be pointless because all you want to know about Nelson is much better explained in this book. In my humble view, Nelson was the greatest naval tactician of all time. To see how he did it, you must read this book.
Mr. M. Herbert
Mr. M. Herbert Reply to on 11 October 2014
Excellent, highly detailed account of the exploits of Britain's most well know Admiral. This book is nicely paced, informative and covers a very broad slice of history, taking in not only Nelson's surprisingly interesting life, but also opening the readers mind to the incredible bravery of the sailors who served in the navy in those days. I had little idea of the range of sailing skills required to bring such huge, wooden, sailing ships into battle and at such close quarters, with accounts of boarding, tales of derring do, battle and its consequences, very clearly set out. This is a highly readable book. The story of Nelson does not overpower the reader. The tales of navy life are fascinating and very well detailed. It leaves the reader in awe of the courage shown by all those on the British navy in those times. It is honest in its account of certain senior officers whose performance fell short, too. This really is a GOOD book and I commend to anyone interested in a colourful, heroic, account of the the early days of the burgeoning British empire.
greasey Reply to on 28 March 2018
I initially thought this new biography of Lord Nelson would be good, but it was too dry and boring. The battles he took part in are not described in any great detail, which also includes the battles of Cape St Vincent, The Nile and Copenhagen. I only liked the last part of the book when there was a large part on the build up to Trafalgar, the battle itself and Nelson's death and final words. Then the author mulls over Nelson's legacy how he has become the national hero we know of him day, with Trafalgar Square and Nelson's column. Rather disappointing.
Thomas Koetzsch
Thomas Koetzsch Reply to on 20 July 2006
This is a marvelous book. It is very well researched and excellently written. As Professor Knight points out there are quite a few biographies of Nelson in circulation, but I would wager that none of them is as well researched and written as this one.
Following his life into his early career, it becomes quite obvious that Nelson is a gifted commander, exceptionally good at handling his men, a rather independent subordinate and a failure in the art of diplomacy. It amazes that Nelson still managed to reach high command. His snubbing of George III cannot have been a good career move in a patronage system. His independence as a subordinate must have been a pain in the neck for any commanding officer. There is plenty of evidence in Knight's book, that Nelson more often than not achieved just that. But his sheer brilliance at command saved him his skin with his superiors more than once. That his private life comes under so much scrutiny must surely be a result of his heroic status. Then again, one would think that there should be more subtle ways of handling these affairs, but I suppose Nelson's shortcomings diplomacy-wise didn't help him there.
What I found particularly useful at the end of the book were the biographical sketches of virtually everyone in some naval and other position during Nelson's life.
I read this book virtually in one go (over 4 or 5 days). I found it a real page turner and whilst some reviewers have noted some typos and misprints, I don't think this diminishes the book in any significant way.
Grey Wolf
Grey Wolf Reply to on 3 March 2014
I came to this book having read the author's superb Britain Against Napoleon. I will not repeat the praises of other reviewers, suffice to say they are right. However, potential buyers of the paperback edition should be aware that it is published without endnotes and bibliography. Shame on you Penguin, this may be acceptable for those who just want to read but for those of us who might wish to take things further it now means tracking down a hardback copy. It would have been helpful if this omission was made clear before purchase. For this reason I cannot give book 5 stars.
sunra59 Reply to on 23 September 2014
A very detailed account of Nelson's life - both naval and personal. Contains a lot of technical detail and naval language. Lacked the easy narrative of some of the other historical accounts I've read recently, e.g. Storm and Conquest: The Battle for the Indian Ocean by Stephen Taylor. However, it was well worth the read - despite the huge number of typos and unreadable maps on kindle. I just wish I could upgrade my memory.
Helen Reply to on 9 March 2011
Bought this as a gift for my Dad. He has not yet ventured into the world of internet shopping and had been looking for a good book on Nelson for ages with no success. Amazon came to the rescue and swayed by previous reviews but not knowing what I was looking for I chose this title. Dad was over the moon and says it is the best comprehensive life story of Nelson he has come across. Just what he's been looking for in the bookshops but couldn't find.
Devon Jonjo
Devon Jonjo Reply to on 5 September 2017
Excellent book. No stone unturned. Love the focus on the person which is primary reason selected over other options.
MR MICHAEL C SINGLETON Reply to on 13 March 2017
Very informative and detailed. One of my two heroes that will more so always be.
Badly treated by the ones that benefited most by hips existence. Thank you.
jon allan homan
jon allan homan Reply to on 4 January 2018
Again a joy to behold at long last.
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