Nelson & His World

Discussion on the life and times of Admiral Lord Nelson
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 Post subject: New book on Howe and the Glorious First of June
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:22 am 
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Location: mid-Wales
There's a very fulsome, full-page review in yesterday's Sunday Times book pages by Adam Nicolson (himself no mean chronicler of 'our' period of naval history) of Sam Willis's 'The Glorious First of June: Fleet Battle in the Reign of Terror (Quercus £25; £15.75 from Amazon)

Nicolson praises the author's gift for 'making complex events exceptionally clear' and his 'authentically salty understanding of the workings of wind and sea, sail and rig.' Willis commends Howe for his threefold excellence: 'expert seamanship, unquestioned courage and a solicitousness towards [his seamen's] welfare.' He points out that part of the significance of the Glorious First is 'its 'proto-Nelsonism, Howe's conscious embracing of horrifying risk, and his intuitive understanding that the boldest moves were the safest.' The foundations of the Nile and Trafalgar, he asserts, were laid on the Glorious First of June.

It sounds like an excellent read and one for the Christmas book list.

Incidentally, Howe's kindness towards his seamen didn't seem to extend to landlubbers. I met a man of Huguenot descent at the weekend who has researched his family tree pretty thoroughly. An ancestor was acquainted with Howe and was such a great admirer that he left the greater part of his fortune to Lord Howe. The man also left a slightly feeble-minded daughter who inherited a goodly sum. Howe promptly had her declared a lunatic and by some legal sleight of hand was able to collar her inheritance as well. Maybe he ensured that she also, like his seamen, was properly cared for. I hope so.


 Post subject: Re: New book on Howe and the Glorious First of June
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:35 pm 

Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 11:43 am
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Location: Malta, G.C.
Published 29/09/11

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