The Sword of Albion

Book - 2013
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Baker & Taylor
A portrait of the celebrated naval commander draws on overlooked primary documents to explore the private lives of Lord Nelson's family, the commander's military strategy, and the injuries and debt that dominated his existence.

McMillan Palgrave

The most authoritative and intimate portrait written of Horatio Nelson

In this epic biography of British history's most celebrated naval commander, acclaimed historian John Sugden separates fact from myth to offer a powerful portrait of the military hero of Trafalgar.

As was true of the Sugden's riveting account of Horatio Nelson's early years (Nelson: A Dream of Glory, 2005), this comprehensive life of Lord Nelson is built from largely overlooked primary documents, letters, and diaries that reach across two centuries to invite us to share Nelson's multifaceted life in the Napoleonic Wars.

The Sword of Albion offers the sweep and intimacy of first-rate historical fiction—revealing the interior lives, for example, of Lord Nelson's wife, Fanny and family and the caring and more passionate Emma, Lady Hamilton, who nursed the war-weary hero back to health in Naples and London after his brilliant victory over the Spanish fleet at Cape St. Vincent in 1797 and the stunning defeat at Tenerife that cost Nelson his right arm.

Today's reader comes to understand that every obstacle in Nelson's path was attacked head-on with an Achilles-like ferocity and resolve. Yet his life was no steady upward trajectory; it was instead plagued by injuries and debt for the commoner admiral in a royal navy and English society dominated by lineage and property. As Sugden points out, "His life was a mission with the essence of a tour de force, hurrying toward a bloody climax that would change the fate of empires."

& Taylor

An epic portrait of the celebrated naval commander separates fact from myth and draws on largely overlooked primary documents, letters and diaries to provide coverage of the private lives of Lord Nelson's family, the commander's military strategy and the injuries and debt that dominated his existence.

Publisher: New York, New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2013
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9780805078077
Branch Call Number: Biography N333ss
Characteristics: x, 925 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm


From the critics

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Mar 15, 2016

Like the first half of Nelsons Biography, Sugden does a superb job of show a person's life in a multitude of ways. He compiles inputs from thousands of sources, and the comments and information gained from outside sources give a valuable and thoughtful insight into Nelson's life. The Author defiantly knows how to show that a person's life touches' many others.

Isaac Rabinovitch
Apr 16, 2013

Long overdue! If it's half as good as Dream of Glory, it's worth the wait.


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Mar 15, 2016

generaldeboss thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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