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The Dispatches and Letters of Vice Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Online publication date: December 2011
  • Print publication year: 2011
  • First published in: 1846
  • Online ISBN: 9781139088022
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139088022
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Book description

First published between 1844 and 1846, this seven-volume collection of the letters of Lord Nelson (1758–1805) was assembled and edited by antiquarian, historian and former naval lieutenant Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas (1799–1848), using letters supplied to him by many of Nelson's correspondents. Nicolas was better known for his many works on genealogy and heraldry, but his own naval background drew him to this work. In Volume 1 he asserts that 'the life of a man is best described by himself' and Nelson is subsequently revealed to be a skilled and engaging correspondent. The books document Nelson's long and celebrated career in the Royal Navy, from his appointment as a lieutenant in 1777 to his death at Trafalgar in 1805. Volume 6 covers May 1804 to July 1805, during which time Nelson was in pursuit of the French fleet, first in the Mediterranean and then in the Atlantic.

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