That Hamilton Woman (Hardback)
Emma and Nelson
5 STAR RATING
"No one in her time could resist Emma Hamilton, and nor will you"
★★★★★ The Guardian
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Emma Hamilton, much maligned by her contemporaries and later by historians and commentators, rose from the most humble beginnings to play a startling role in Britain’s naval victory over France and Spain in 1805. In this new book Barry Gough, employing the letters between the protagonists, and the unpublished examination of her career by famed American historian of the Royal Navy Arthur Marder, strongly defends Emma. He shows how this most talented of women and the beauty of her age fell victim to innuendo, slander and cruel caricature. She was to die in poverty in Calais in 1815, just months before Napoleon’s final defeat.
England’s greatest sailor fell deeply in love with Emma in the years before Trafalgar. This, together with his quest for glory and victory entangled him in an inescapable web of circumstances and calumny. The author explores the evolving scandal, the high political stakes that were involved, and the love affair itself which so influenced the fortunes of England’s glory and the fate of her Wooden Walls. No novelist could have created such a tortuous scenario, charged as it was with high emotions, slurs, insults and slander.
Richly illustrated throughout, the book shows Emma, probably the most painted woman of her age, in all her glories; it also shows how heartlessly caricaturists treated her. ‘That Hamilton woman’ will long remain a controversial figure but here the author places her as one of the forces that gave the Royal Navy its will to fight and conquer. He depicts sympathetically a woman entrapped in circumstances of her own making, her saga reminding us of how frail is human fortune.
Richly illustrated throughout, the book shows Emma, probably the most painted woman of her age, in all her glories; it also shows how heartlessly caricaturists treated her. ‘That Hamilton woman’ will long remain a controversial figure but here the author places her as one of the forces that gave the Royal Navy its will to fight and conquer. He depicts sympathetically a woman entrapped in circumstances of her own making, her saga reminding us of how frail is human fortune.The Emma Hamilton Society
This is a nicely balanced review with a sympathetic hand that the heroin deserves. A particular delight is provided by a fine selection of paintings and cartoons, mostly in full colour. These can be enjoyed as art, but they also directly support the author’s presentation of the story.Firetrench
Read the full review here.
As featured inAntiques Diary, November-December 2016
Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson fell in love with Emma Hamilton in the years before Trafalgar. This romance, together with his quest for glory and victory, made him the talk of the age. The author explores the evolving scandal, the high political stakes that were involved, and the love affair itself – which influenced not just their lives, but England’s destiny. Gough draws on the letters between the protagonists and in particular the findings of the historian of the Royal Navy Arthur Marder.Action-Adventure Historical Fiction, Julian Stockwin
I was personally drawn to this story because Nelson's great nephew, Major General Horatio Nelson Davies' wife's brother was one of my great great grandfathers, and Charles Greville is my 5 greats uncle. I also have a modern (and I think fairly crude) mezzotint of Romney's depiction of Emma Hamilton at her spinning wheel. However I would also recommend this book – romance, adventure story, political history - to any general reader with an interest in Lord Nelson. Even with Southey and Oman and other biographies of him on my shelves already it is still a case of semper aliquod novi ex Nelson.ARRSE
Read the full review here.
An excellent little book and beautifully illustrated... There is a considerable body of literature about Emma, and That Hamilton Woman is set to join the best.Warships IFR, January 2017 – reviewed by Peter Hore
This book will appeal to people wanting an overview of Emma Hamilton’s life and her relationship with Nelson. It ought to serve well as a companion to the National Maritime Museum’s special exhibition, Emma Hamilton: Seduction and celebrity.Mariner's Mirror - reviewed by Thomas Malcomson
This attractive little book makes a handy companion to the current exhibition at the National Maritime Museum.The Nelson Dispatch Autumn 2016
The man many regard as “the Father of the American Navy” returns to the quarterdeck in John Barry: An American Hero in the Age of Sail, the first comprehensive biography of this legendary officer in over seventy years. Son of a hardscrabble Irish farmer from County Wexford, Barry was sent to sea as a child, arriving in Philadelphia during the restless decade before the American Revolution. Brave and ambitious, he ascended the ratlines to become a successful merchant captain at a young age, commanding the most prestigious ship in the colonies and recording the fastest known day of sail in the…
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