- Gebundene Ausgabe: 396 Seiten
- Verlag: Headline Book Publishing; Auflage: 1st edition (5. September 2005)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1845290763
- ISBN-13: 978-0755310418
- ASIN: 0755310411
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,5 x 3,8 x 23,6 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 2.057.370 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Nelson And Napoleon: The Long Haul to Trafalgar (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 5. September 2005
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'Christopher Lee's vivid and painstaking account cuts through the folklore, replacing it with wonderful insights into early 19th-century Britain and Europe' -- Daily Express
Trafalgar was a victory that would change the course of the Napoleonic wars and that would lead to the British Navy ruling the waves for more than a century.In Christopher Lee's new book he re-evaluates our preconceptions of this final and decisive battle and also looks at the events that led up to it. Through the prism of the preceding years he paints a picture of the personalities and the intrigues that were operating at this time, and particularly of the creation of a national hero in Horatio Nelson and his intense rivalry with Napoleon, who is reputed to have kept a bust of Nelson on his desk.The battle itself was nearly two years in the making with Nelson scouring the Atlantic for the French fleet. In Lee's book the reader will be taken on that journey with Nelson and his men, giving them a front-row view of the biggest story in Britain's maritime history.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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On the whole a deeply researched study of Nelson, extending ones knowledge of his whole role as the Trafalgar victor. Napoleon emerges as a more cardboard cut-out figure, largely because he is treated in the usual fashion as leader who "did not understand sailors and the sea", and the foil for Nelson. It is certainly a thought-provoking book for anyone interested in the subject to read and absorb.
Some chapters are better than others.
The book is best when explaining the ships, seamen and tactics of the rival navies, and gives clear and vivid accounts of Trafalgar.
On the other hand the biographical backgrounds of Nelson-- what shaped him as a leader--serves little purpose. Not only is it sketchy, but it is also constantly interrupted by explanations of events, and other people, which tell us nothing about him, or Trafalgar. For instance, do we really need to know that Lord North resigned in 1782, or that chaplains enjoyed an improved status? Admittedly he had more words in which to do it, but Sugden tells us about the making of Nelson whereas Mr Lee does not. As for Napoleon, there is next to no explanation of how his success in land war influenced his naval thinking but failed to translate into success there. There are one or two good insights from French historians about Napoleon the improviser and chancer, but otherwise he seems to feature only as a foil for Nelson. As for Villeneuve (Nelson's opponent at Trafalgar), Mr Lee prejudices us by dismissing him as a fool and a failure BEFORE suggesting why--indeed the book has a general tendency to give flip judgments which are then inadequately evidenced. (The Spanish admiral Gravina is praised, but no reason is given as to why, for example).
Chapters 10 ("Corruption") and 12 ("The Melville Affair") are interesting accounts of controversies about political management of the Royal Navy (Addington and St Vincent v Pitt and Dundas), but are not made relevant to Nelson and Trafalgar, and merely break up the flow. What did Nelson think of these controversialists and what did they think of him? How exactly did the return to office of Pitt or the attacks on Dundas (Melville) shape the buildup to Trafalgar? There are also some odd statements here. Dundas is said to have helped Pitt "improve the daily lives of a rapidly growing electorate" in the 1790s--quite wrong. Middelton (Lord Barham) is dismissed as an "old buffer", without reference to his important work before the war. Soldiers and sailors are described as having the means--literally--to weaken the nation, because their political loyalty was strained. Why "literally"? And what evidence of this is there? (the remark is not followed up). These two chapters in particular also jump from statement to statement without apparent relevance. Just what has Pitt enobling his banker to do with him returning Middleton to the Admiralty, and what has that to do with Nelson and Trafalgar? (We are not told).
So, do get this but better to invest in Sugden--and in my view even the two chapters on Christopher Lloyd's 1954 book "The Nation and the Navy" provide a clearer and more understandable account of the subject in very condensed form.
The title of the book reflects the main subjects, a rivalry of commanders that had gone on for years. The secondary commanders such as Villeneuve, Cornwallis, Collingwood are likewise covered in detail.
This is a well researched, well written history of the battle and the people. There are a lot of histories of Nelson and Napoleon, this book has a lot more on their lower level commanders. Perhaps best however, is the final fifty pages or so. Here is where the battle itself, and the aftermath is described. In addition there is a very interesting 'What If.'
'What if Nelson had lived?' Blind in one eye, he was losing his vision in the other. Politically astute and extremely popular, could he have become Prime Minister, what about his temper - not good in a politician. Very interesting book.