"Royal Navy and Maritime Book Reviews" Provided by Rob Jerrard

Random House Group 2011


Nelson, The Sword of Albion
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardback
Author: John Sugden
ISBN: 9780224060981
Publishers: Random House
Price: 30
Publication Date: 27 Sep 2012

Publisher's title Information

The Author John Sugden brilliantly interweaves graphic accounts of Nelson's famous victories at the battles of the Nile, Copenhagen and Trafalgar with his lesser-known yet equally gripping campaigns to liberate the Italian states from French domination and his role in the blockade of Malta, often snatching remarkable triumphs from crippling reverses. But behind his military prowess was a man riven with paradoxes and schisms at the very heart of his personal life.
Nelson emerges as a strong-minded but vulnerable human being in constant need of affection and reassurance, whose relations with superiors, colleagues and friends were intense and stormy. We meet the fighting admiral in search of ultimate military victory, and the glory-hunter skilfully manipulating his public image; the national hero and patron of merit, and the indigent commoner trying to secure his position in a society dominated by wealth, property and land; the family man, and the adulterer who scandalized society by his passion for the mercurial Lady Hamilton - yet whose ambition for domestic tranquility was destroyed by his untimely death at Trafalgar.
The triumphant and the tragic lend an epic yet human quality to the life of Nelson, fully exploited here in a richly detailed narrative that teems with a glittering array of sailors and civilians, heroes and villains, husbands, wives and lovers.

The Author

Dr John Sudgen has pursued a busy trans-Atlantic career as a lecturer, senior research fellow and writer. He is the author of a series of acclaimed articles and books, including Sir Francis Drake, Tecumseh: A Life, which won the Distinguished Book Award of the American Society for Military History, and Blue Jacket, which won the Ohioana Award. This first volume of his definitive biography, Nelson: A Dream of Glory, was published to great critical acclaim in 2004 and was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize.


Nelson A Dream of Glory
Edition: Paperback 2012
Format: Paperback
Author: John Sugden
ISBN: 9781845951917
Publishers: Pimlico
Price: 16.99
Publication Date: 6 Sep 2012

Publisher's Title Information

Nelson: A Dream of Glory is the most comprehensive and thoroughly researched account ever written of Horatio Nelson's rise to international fame. Giving us the private as well as the public man, it combines ground-breaking scholarship with a brilliantly vivid and compelling style.

The Author

Dr John Sudgen has pursued a busy trans-Atlantic career as a lecturer, senior research fellow and writer. He is the author of a series of acclaimed articles and books, including Sir Francis Drake, Tecumseh: A Life, which won the Distinguished Book Award of the American Society for Military History, and Blue Jacket, which won the Ohioana Award. This first volume of his definitive biography, Nelson: A Dream of Glory, was published to great critical acclaim in 2004 and was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize.

Review to Date

'This monumental tome is the finest yet written on England's great naval hero...chock-full of fascinating detail, from Nelson's battles to his first mistress, Adelaide Correglia.' Frank McLynn, Daily Express
(Sugden's account...is richly absorbing, and his fluent, buoyant prose scuds along, carrying the reader with it. This must surely become a standard life.' Jane Ridley, Spectator
'Sugden makes very effective use of the new material to challenge the traditional story. Moreover...he has tracked down some of the little-known characters junior officers, even ordinary seamen, and brought them alive by meticulous research.' Colin White, Observer
'A masterpiece of the biographer's art... A book that will be the yardstick by which all other Nelson biographies will be judged for decades to come.' Neil Hanson, Sunday Times
'Sugden's passion for his subject and astonishing research reveal the blossoming hero in a new light.' Lucy Moore, Daily Mail
'The massive, magisterially detailed first volume of what will surely be the definitive life.' T. J. Binyon, Scotsman
The most detailed study of Nelson ever published.' F. J. M. Scott, History Today
'Massively authoritative.' Max Hastings, Sunday Telegraph
'This monumental tome is the finest yet written on England's naval hero... Sugden's brilliant book is chock-full of fascinating details. And if the second volume turns out as well as this, his life of Nelson will be one of the historical masterpieces of our time.' Frank McLynn,
Daily Express
'Enthralling.' Daily Telegraph
'A magnificently-researched and thoughtful work which locates Nelson in a global context.'
Linda Colley
Nelson:A Dream of Glory is the most comprehensive and thoroughly researched account ever written of Horatio Nelson's rise to international fame. Giving us the private as well as the public man, it combines ground-breaking scholarship with a brilliantly vivid and compelling style.
'This is an enthralling book. Sugden's research took in no fewer than thirty-two archives in four countries.
Yet he never lets his mastery of the sources slow down the narrative. So good is Sugden's writing, so fascinating his material, so judicious his comments, that you long for the concluding volume.' Daily Telegraph
'Nelson became not just a national but an international hero, a cult figure of such improbable proportions that it takes a biographer of Sugden's patience and scruples to separate reality from inventions. [The second volume] will be one of the most eagerly awaited. historical biograf,h16S' of recent times.' Sunday Herald


The War that Never was - The True Story of the Men who Fought Britain's Most Secret Battle
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardback
Author: Duff Hart-Davis
ISBN: 9781846058257
Publishers: Random House, Century
Price: 14.99
Publication Date: 2011
 

Publisher's Title Information

For the very first time, The War That Never Was tells the fascinating story of a secret war fought by British mercenaries in the Yemen in the early 1960s. In a covert operation organised over whisky and sodas in the clubs of Chelsea and Mayfair, a group of former SAS officers - led by the irrepressible Colonel Jim Johnson - arranged for a squadron of British mercenaries to travel to the remote mountain regions of the Yemen, to arm, train and lead Yemeni tribesmen in their fight against a 60,000-strong contingent of Egyptian soldiers.
 
It was one of the most uneven running battles ever waged; the Egyptians fielded a huge, professionally-trained army. The British fought back at the head of a ragtag force of tribal warriors and, ultimately, won. Egypt's President Nasser described the battle in the Yemen as 'my Vietnam'.
 
It's a fascinating, forgotten, and rip-roaringly entertaining pocket of British military history, much in the spirit of Ben McIntyre's bestselling Agent Zigzag and Operation Mincemeat.

Praise for Duff Hart-Davis

'Duff Hart-Davis recounts with verve and much fascinating long-lost detail the hugely entertaining story.' Independent

'An exceptionally vivid account of an extraordinary man and his equally extraordinary project? Sunday Telegraph

Duff Hart-Davis brings not only a wealth of knowledge and a solid biographical methodology to his task, but a real feel for the spheres in which the artist operated.' Washington Times

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