Nelson & His World

Discussion on the life and times of Admiral Lord Nelson
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 Post subject: Re: Edward Berry
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:22 pm 
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Quote:
Lord Nelson rubbed his hands together with glee

Oh dear! That's an accuracy fail if ever I've seen one! :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Edward Berry
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:31 pm 
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Starhawk wrote:
I guess with anecdotes, in particular, it must be tempting for a writer to pick the version that most suits what they would want Nelson to have said, or that puts his subject (in this case, Berry) in a favourable (or not!) light.
- Or simply which provides the best narrative...

Mira wrote:
Nicolas records his version as follows:
Quote:
When the Agamemnon was signalled, Lord Nelson rubbed his hands together with glee, "Here comes Berry; now we shall have a battle."
I can see why biographers might have removed the reference to Nelson's actions on hearing the news!
What an extraordinary thing for Nicolas to have written! Embellishment is a dangerous game! And my regard for Oliver Warner has now completely drained down the plughole. Can you picture any gesture of Nelson's less likely to express satisfaction than rubbing his 'fin'?

I have read a comment (I'm afraid I forget where) that suggests that biographers are missing the point of Nelson's comment, and that he was simply referring to Berry's extraordinary luck in always managing to be present for every major battle, rather than expressing any particular feeling towards Berry.

Mira wrote:
John Sugden introduces an element of caution in Sword of Albion
I have to admire Sugden's skill in working in quotes from doubtful sources. Elsewhere in the Sword of Albion he quotes from a dubious source, writing that the story "appears to have been true in its broader elements" - brilliant!

Vicki, I think you may enjoy this old thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=121

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 Post subject: Re: Edward Berry
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:45 pm 
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Love it!

Apparently, tradition says that the eminent historian John Sugden supposedly introduced what could almost certainly be termed an element of caution with regard to his handling of some of the old second-hand myths in Sword of Albion. The anecdotal source of this tradition is not currently known, the alleged wording of the quote itself is also uncertain. However, Nelson’s purported reaction to the suggested arrival of his former flag-captain has been repeated so many times in print, that it is surely a qualified case – or at least a distinct possibility - of ‘no smoke without fire?’

In mitigation, Nelson is a character who (presumably) needs a Thesaurus all to himself!

Probably.

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 Post subject: Re: Edward Berry
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:45 pm 
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Incidentally a flag captain was not an experienced captain. The position was traditionally given to a newly promoted captain and the thought was that the Admiral would provide a controlling hand. Naturally there are many exceptions to the rule but this explains Berry's less than stellar technical knowledge perhaps.

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 Post subject: Re: Edward Berry
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:31 pm 
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And picking up from Nelson rubbing his hands(!), rubbing his fin, cursing, or joking on the 13th October 1805, it seems that the intervening years' experience didn't do much for Berry either. In the days before Trafalgar, he almost blundered into the enemy fleet after ignoring repeated signals from Blackwood, then lost a topmast, and perhaps consequently, or perhaps from other failings, he was way out of position at the start of the battle. When he got into the battle, he blazed away ineffectually at long range and contributed virtually nothing to the fight.

Sorry, Vicki!

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