Nelson & His World

Discussion on the life and times of Admiral Lord Nelson
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 Post subject: First Nelson Biography
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:26 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:18 pm
Posts: 7
Hi Anna & Phil and anyone else who may know!
I am trying to establish that Bristol born poet Robert Southey wrote the first biography of Nelson. His book "The Life of Horatio, Lord Viscount Nelson" was published in 1813 but was it the first biography of Nelson? Having looked online various sites say it is an "early" biography but is it the first?

Does anyone know?



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 Post subject: Re: First Nelson Biography
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:43 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:50 am
Posts: 130

Robert Southey's 1813 Nelson biography was in fact preceded by both a number of biographical sketches published in pamphlet form whilst he was alive, as well as full length biographies published following Trafalgar. One of the first was written by a Francis Blagdon entitled Graphic History of the Life, Exploits and Death of Horatio Nelson (1806). Another was the Life of Horatio Lord Viscount Nelson written by James Harrison also published in 1806.

Nelson in fact wrote a brief personal memoir in 1799 for the Naval Chronicle, a magazine for naval officers. Entitled 'A Sketch of My Life', this formed the basis of a two volume biography published in 1809 by John M'Arthur in collaboration with James Stainer Clark.

Hope this is helpful.


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