Vice Admiral Cuthbert (Cuddy) Collingwood may have been 10 years older than Horatio Nelson but he was Nelson's close friend from the outset. They served together for over 30 years and only at Trafalgar, was Nelson his superior officer. The relationship is all the stranger as their temperaments greatly differed. Collingwood was reserved, austere and shy but utterly competent which was why Nelson's meteoric career was so closely linked to his. Collingwood's reputation was made in battles such as The Glorious First of June (1794) and Cape St Vincent (1797). Collingwood's career survived reverses; he was court-martialled in 1777 by a commander for whom he had no respect. He was acquitted. Collingwood in The Royal Sovereign led the lee column at Trafalgar. After assuming command of the Fleet on Nelson's death he was the author of the famous Trafalgar Despatch that announced the victory and death of Nelson to the Nation. He became Commander in Chief Mediterranean Fleet but was never to return home. He died at sea
in 1810. He is buried beside Nelson in St Paul's Cathedral.
this is a book not be missedOxford Times - October 2008
Painstakingly researchedNorthumbrian - November 2008
....a fascinating accout of a great commander...Denis Orde has written a compelling account of one of history's major naval figures.The Lady
A misleading technical statement on page 2 of chapter 1 led me to read this work unduly critically. A pity because it spoilt my own reading and marred my appreciation of much serious research.
The reader should be prepared for a number of deviations from the principle subject matter into the lives of some of Collingwood's contemporaries whose lives or careers only tangentially touched his own. Some are very interesting but others with remote and complicated family trails, make more turgid reading. However, the book will certainly add valuable knowledge to any student of the period whether nautically biased or not.
by Roger Cooper, 16th July 2008
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