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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Considerable value for money.
As a Nelson fan and resident of `Nelson's County,' I come to the subject matter from an objective viewpoint. Whilst many of my reviews betray the fact that I am happy to expose works which I consider shoddy, I am equally aware of the reviewer's duty to uphold those which rank amongst the finest ever written. As my award of five stars suggests, this work falls firmly into...
Published 14 months ago by Ned Middleton

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2 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unbalanced, biased and ignorant.
Rather than a detailed review , the treatment of Lord Cochrane in this book is, for example, good evidence of a lack of serious research. Three slight mentions make him out to be unbalanced and of no significance. Yet Napoleon called him Britain's Sea Wolf (he was the source of the more astounding events in Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels), he was immensely...
Published 16 months ago by Personal opinion


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Considerable value for money., 8 Jan. 2014
By 
Ned Middleton (British professional underwater photo-journalist & author) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Nelson, Navy and Nation: The Royal Navy & the British People 1688-1815 (Hardcover)
As a Nelson fan and resident of `Nelson's County,' I come to the subject matter from an objective viewpoint. Whilst many of my reviews betray the fact that I am happy to expose works which I consider shoddy, I am equally aware of the reviewer's duty to uphold those which rank amongst the finest ever written. As my award of five stars suggests, this work falls firmly into the latter category and is one for which the publishers, writers and editors must be congratulated. Let those who neither understand nor appreciate the complexities of historical research concentrate on whatever minor errors may (or may not!) have crept in - such anomalies are inconsequential when set against the whole product.

This book, written in conjunction with the National Maritime Museum, encapsulates the very spirit of the British people at the time of Nelson. There are particular elements within the make-up of any country which embody the very soul of that nation and none were ever more so than that which was created by the heroic exploits of a naval commander who, in the eyes of an entire people, could do no wrong. No king was ever awarded a monument to equal Trafalgar Square in the centre of which stands Admiral Lord Nelson on the highest plinth of all. Such was his country's gratitude for all he had accomplished.

The genius of the book itself, however, is in the way we get to fully understand that national pride from over 200-300 years ago through eleven separate chapters - each of which is written by a different leading expert. It is neither possible nor desirable to explain every aspect of those chapters here but mention of the headings (and each author) will do much to underline the scope of the book and the significance of those contributors.

After a Director's foreword and Editor's preface, N. A. M. Rodger provides an illuminating `Introduction' which does far more than set the scene. Ted Valance then supplies the first chapter (headed `Invasion and Threat') which is an understanding of the politics of the day (the `Glorious Revolution' of 1688-89) and the threats of invasion and the wars that were to follow the accession of a certain monarch. Kathleen Wilson's most informative `Patriotism, Trade and Empire' is equally educational. `Dockyards and Industry' are then explained by Brian Lavery - after which few people will fail to learn something they did not previously know from Quintin Colville's `Life Afloat.' Dan Snow, who really has come into his own as a serious and acknowledged expert, adds a most notable `Expansion and Victory' which is followed by `Naval Personnel in Popular Culture' (Margaret Lincoln), `Mutiny and Insecurity' (James Davey), `Nelson and Naval Warfare' (Andrew Lambert), `The Experiences and Weapons of War' (Roland Pietsch), `Nelson, Navy and National Identity' (Marianne Czisnik) and, finally, `Beyond Trafalgar' (Roger Knight). The work concludes with Appendices on; Author's biographies, Notes, Further reading, Acknowledgements, Picture credits and an Index.

The entire work is richly illustrated and, by exploring over a century of these times of bitter conflict in such a manner - in addition to utilising the professional contributions of so many iconic names from the world of maritime history, we learn how the Royal Navy grew to such a size and of the `dazzling celebrity' of one man. This was a time when an entire `island nation' was dependant on its navy for both its defence and sustenance. Little wonder that the one man who performed heroic deed after heroic deed should become such an overwhelming national figure.

Anyone with an interest in Naval history will find their bookshelf empty without a copy of this splendid work which is published to coincide with a National Maritime Museum long-term gallery display of the same name.

NM
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 18 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Nelson, Navy and Nation: The Royal Navy & the British People 1688-1815 (Hardcover)
This is a phenomenal book that really captures the feel of the eighteenth century sailing navy. The articles are crisp and erudite, by some of Britain's most prominent naval historians. The illustrations are gorgeous. If you're a fan of the Aubrey/Maturin novels, they really flesh out what the world of the Napoleonic-era navy actually looked like. For armchair admirals, this is an awesome buy -- great chapters by names you'll know (or should know!) and stunning photos.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare treat, 17 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Nelson, Navy and Nation: The Royal Navy & the British People 1688-1815 (Hardcover)
As my title says this book really is a rare treat with the combination of thorough scholarship and outstanding images. I'm now planning a visit to the National Maritime Museum to the see the new Nelson, Navy, Nation gallery to view many of the objects close up. A perfect gift for anyone interested in this period.
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2 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unbalanced, biased and ignorant., 11 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Nelson, Navy and Nation: The Royal Navy & the British People 1688-1815 (Hardcover)
Rather than a detailed review , the treatment of Lord Cochrane in this book is, for example, good evidence of a lack of serious research. Three slight mentions make him out to be unbalanced and of no significance. Yet Napoleon called him Britain's Sea Wolf (he was the source of the more astounding events in Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels), he was immensely popular with his crews, was later admired by King William and Prince Albert, he ended his career as an Admiral of the Fleet and is buried in Westminster Abbey next to the tomb of the unknown soldier.

Yes, he was a nuisance to the authorities during the Napoleonic Wars but no serious history of the time should dismiss a man about whom several books have been written in just a couple of sentences. Unfortunately, by also becoming an MP while a serving officer and challenging corruption and incompetence, he made enemies in high places. Although the streets of London were crowded for his funeral, not a single government minister attended. It is sad that enemies still exist.
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1 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Factual inaccuracy 1., 27 Oct. 2013
By 
Mrs. D. L. Finlay (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nelson, Navy and Nation: The Royal Navy & the British People 1688-1815 (Hardcover)
Page 32 - George Byng did not command the Anglo-Dutch Fleet at the Battle of Beachy Head. Queen Mary ordered Admiral Arthur Herbert, Earl of Torrington,(c.1648-1716) to attack the French. Torrington (Herbert) immediately held a council of war (29 June 1690) of English and Dutch flag officers and informed them of the Queen's orders. The next day (30 June 1690) they engaged the French: the Dutch were in the van; the red squadron led by Arthur Herbert Earl of Torrington, Sir John Ashby and Sir George Rooke formed the centre; and the blue squadron under Sir Ralph Delavall, made up the rear. See "Precursors of Nelson: British Admirals of the Eighteenth Century," edited by Dr Peter Le Fevre & Professor Richard Harding (2000) Chapter 1 pages 34 to 38.
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Nelson, Navy and Nation: The Royal Navy & the British People 1688-1815
Nelson, Navy and Nation: The Royal Navy & the British People 1688-1815 by Quintin Colville (Hardcover - 12 Sept. 2013)
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