For over a century the massive seven-volume Dispatches and Letters of Vice-Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson published by Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas in 1846 was taken to be almost complete, and formed the essential background to most Nelson biographies. However, although Nicolas had sourced his text from original documents, this had not been possible in every case. For example, he had not been able to access Nelson’s letters to his wife and had been compelled to rely on the versions given by Clarke and McArthur in their Life and Services of Admiral Lord Nelson, despite suspecting, rightly, that these were often inaccurate.
Fortunately the originals, many of which Lady Nelson had withheld from Clarke and McArthur in the first place, were discovered in the Twentieth Century and were published for the first time in this volume which has subsequently become essential reading for Nelson scholars.
These letters from Nelson to his wife divide naturally into three periods afloat. Some thirty letters are written from the Boreas in the West Indies, mostly during his courtship of the ‘widow Nisbet’. Over one hundred and fifty were written from the Mediterranean during the years 1793 to 1797 and cover such events as the siege of Bastia, the victory off Cape St Vincent, and the failure off Santa Cruz. And there are some forty letters dealing with the Nile campaign and his time at the Neapolitan court.
Sixty-four letters from his wife to Lord Nelson give the other side of the picture
General Introduction, Chapter 1 The Little Captain of the <I>Boreas </I>(1785-1792), Chapter 2 Honour and Salt Beef (1793-1794), Chapter 3 The Invincible <I>Agamemnon </I>(1794-1795), Chapter 4 Flag-Rank and Renown, (1796-1797), Chapter 5 The Hero of the Nile (1798), Chapter 6 Neapolitan Chains (1798-1800), Chapter 7 Love Lies Bleeding (1800-1831).