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Undoubtedly the most comprehensive and intimate biography of Nelson ever written, The Sword of Albion encompasses the high dramas of the Battles of the Nile, Copenhagen and Trafalgar.
Dr John Sugden has pursued a busy career as a lecturer, senior research fellow and writer. He is the author of a series of acclaimed articles and books, including Sir Francis Drake, Tecumseh- A Life, which won the Distinguished Book Award of the American Society for Military History, and Blue Jacket, which won the Ohioana Award. His fascination with Nelson stems from childhood, and he decided to write a complete life of Nelson when he discovered large amounts of untapped material whilst completing his doctorate in naval and political history.
"An absolutely excellent book. Every bit is beautifully judged" -- William Leith * Evening Standard * "Sweeping, thrilling and psychologically acute, this second volume in John Sugden's biography will hardly be bettered...this book is a monumental achievement. Some readers may be daunted by its length, but the investment of time and effort is unquestionably worth it... It is a tribute to Sugden's skill that as Nelson lies stricken below desks, gasping for air, blood pouring into his chest, his officers biting back the tears and Hardy desperately wringing his hand, you pray that somehow, against all sense and reason, England's greatest hero might just pull through" -- Dominic Sandbrook * Sunday Times * "The Last eight years of his [Nelson's] life dealt with in thrilling, monumental detail" * Sunday Times * "There isn't the slightest hint of modishness in Sugden's study, which not only has all the old-fashioned scholarly virtues but is also, in the time-honoured tradition of naval history, a thumping good read" * Scotsman * "John Sugden's utterly epic Nelson: The Sword of Albion is the longest, richest, most absorbing biography I've ever read... Sugden's book is of Tolstoyan dimensions" -- Roger Lewis * Daily Mail *
Admiral Horatio Nelson is one of history's greatest military heroes, having saved Great Britain from Napoleon by defeating the French fleet at Trafalgar in 1805, at the cost of his life. He has had many biographers but none has served him so well as John Sugden (Nelson: Dream of Glory) in his two-volume study of Nelson's life. In this second volume (the first was published in 2004), Sugden covers Nelson's final eight years, resuming the story in 1797 with Nelson unemployed and on half-pay and suffering from general poor health after the loss of his right arm to grapeshot. His wife, Fanny, tended to his recuperation but eventually lost him to his mistress, Emma Hamilton, as Nelson returned to naval command in the Mediterranean. His tremendous victory at the battle of the Nile in August 1798 was followed by service in the Baltic, and then in 1805 with Nelson's death at Trafalgar. It's clear that Sugden has spent an enormous amount of time on his research into primary sources, many of them newly accessed, and presents a masterly portrait of the hero as a man-vain, emotional, irritable, lonely, embittered, and completely dedicated to serving his country. VERDICT This is biography as it is meant to be; its subject, however, will be most pleasing to those who study the naval history of Britain in the Napoleonic Wars.-David Poremba, Windermere, FL (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.