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Nelson: A Dream of Glory Paperback – 6 Sep 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Pimlico (6 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845951913
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845951917
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.8 x 5.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok on 17 Aug 2008
Format: Hardcover
John Sugden's "Nelson: A Dream of Glory 1758 - 1797" is the first volume of what promises to be a two volume definitive biography on the life and career of Vice Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson, the greatest admiral in the history of Western Civilization. Not only is Sugden's tome impeccably well-researched, but his prose is often as fine as Patrick O'Brian's, giving readers a compelling view of the late 18th Century Royal Navy and the wars against France as seen not only through Nelson's eyes, but indeed those of many of his friends, acquaintances, and subordinates, including sailors from the lower decks. This is quite simply the finest nonfiction book on the Royal Navy that I have read; without question, it is a far better written and researched book than Arthur Herman's recently published "To Rule the Waves", his one volume history of the Royal Navy. I wait eagerly for Sugden's second volume, which will show Nelson's genius for battle during his celebrated victories at Aboukir Bay and, of course, Trafalgar.

Sugden offers a compelling portrait of a man who was more often a sinner rather than a saint, yet still heavily revered and regarded by his subordinates and superiors such as Admiral Sir Samuel Hood and Admiral Sir John Jervis, the Earl of Saint Vincent. Sugden demonstrates how this son of an impoverished parson was able to use his important familial ties to such distinguished British families as the Walpoles in obtaining and then furthering his career in the Royal Navy, going to sea at a relatively young age as an unrated servant aboard his uncle Captain Maurice Suckling's ship. But thanks to his uncle's connections, Nelson soon mastered the skills of navigation - becoming an excellent navigator in his own right - and joins a little known Polar expedition sponsored by the Royal Navy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Darren O'Connell on 12 Aug 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a rich book full of hitherto unknown detail of Nelson's exploits and character, which if I dare say it, exceeds Hibbert's earlier personal assessment. It is a rich analysis of action and introspection that is expertly and schollarly weaved into a collosal narrative that truely sheds the full specturm of light onto this man's quest, almost thirst, for glory. Past biographies have tended to portray Nelson as almost god-like with very few disparaging detractions or criticisms (unlike those heaped upon Wellington or Pitt, say) so it is very refreshing to see the Admiral with "warts an' all". I have two criticisms of this work; first the illustrations are, I feel unimaginative (being in B/W for one) and the second are the errors, of which I could only pick up two. On page 281, the author asserts Collingwood died in 1808, rather than the accepted date of March, 1810. On the very next page, the author states that Braddock's force was ambushed in 1775 when in actual fact this event took place twenty years earlier. These are excusable considering the scope of the work. One gratifying aspect was the distinct lack of orthographical errors, a trend in modern works so prevelent these days. Highly recommended and I eagerly look forwarrd to the concluding volume.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok on 17 Aug 2008
Format: Paperback
John Sugden's "Nelson: A Dream of Glory 1758 - 1797" is the first volume of what promises to be a two volume definitive biography on the life and career of Vice Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson, the greatest admiral in the history of Western Civilization. Not only is Sugden's tome impeccably well-researched, but his prose is often as fine as Patrick O'Brian's, giving readers a compelling view of the late 18th Century Royal Navy and the wars against France as seen not only through Nelson's eyes, but indeed those of many of his friends, acquaintances, and subordinates, including sailors from the lower decks. This is quite simply the finest nonfiction book on the Royal Navy that I have read; without question, it is a far better written and researched book than Arthur Herman's recently published "To Rule the Waves", his one volume history of the Royal Navy. I wait eagerly for Sugden's second volume, which will show Nelson's genius for battle during his celebrated victories at Aboukir Bay and, of course, Trafalgar.

Sugden offers a compelling portrait of a man who was more often a sinner rather than a saint, yet still heavily revered and regarded by his subordinates and superiors such as Admiral Sir Samuel Hood and Admiral Sir John Jervis, the Earl of Saint Vincent. Sugden demonstrates how this son of an impoverished parson was able to use his important familial ties to such distinguished British families as the Walpoles in obtaining and then furthering his career in the Royal Navy, going to sea at a relatively young age as an unrated servant aboard his uncle Captain Maurice Suckling's ship. But thanks to his uncle's connections, Nelson soon mastered the skills of navigation - becoming an excellent navigator in his own right - and joins a little known Polar expedition sponsored by the Royal Navy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Jun 2007
Format: Hardcover
There are possibly more books on the shelves of bookshops (certainly in England) about Nelson than any other English hero and because of the recent anniversary of Trafalgar many more have either been written or re-printed. How does the reader pick one out from the rest. Well my own recommendation would be to buy this particular volume,

In the historical time scale, Nelson lived and died in the fairly recent past, so many of the books written about him are only regurgitated facts that have never been checked properly, or may have no foundation in factual terms. John Sugden has left no stone unturned in his quest for the truth, not only about the public persona of the man, but also gives a brilliant insight into the life of the private man. His hopes, his fears, his weaknesses and his strengths.

John Sugden's writing style is both lively and stylish and does not leave the reader feeling overpowered with dull facts that he or she cannot take on board. Yes the book is a historical work, but it is written with a sensitive touch that almost makes the reader think they are reading an adventure novel. This is achieved without prostituting the historical content in any way. I enjoyed it immensely.
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