For amateur historians and trivia collectors everywhere

Location: Masterton, New Zealand

I survived school history despite the best efforts of the education system to bore me to death. Many years later, I discovered Treaties, dates, the movement of nations, are mere context. The fascination is in the details.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

On the eve of Trafalgar's 200th anniversary, try this reading of Admiral Nelson's character from W. H. Fitchett, B.A., LL.D -

"He was vehement, moody, swinging to opposite poles of emotion with strange readiness; now drooping, now exultant, and intense alike in his hates and his loves. There was a strain of the woman in him; of womanly vehemence, of womanly sensitiveness, of womanly - not to say half-shrewish - temper. It was the woman in him which explains that pathetic "Kiss me, Hardy," in the last scene of all. His hate of the French has in it a strain of feminine shrewishness. His belief in his friends, in his comrades, in his ship, had in it more than a touch of feminine exaggeration. The half-feminine side of Nelson's character is seen in his simple and unashamed delight in flattery. Lady Hamilton's emotions and superlatives, her tears, her apostrophies, her swoons would have turned the stomach of most men."
('Nelson and His Captains', 1911)

You can read a moderately edited version of this essay here.


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