Some men seem to make better biographies than actual lives. One suspects this of Nelson. Again, he is rich in nuances of mind and spirit, abounding in deeds and daring, and his intimacy with Lady Hamilton fulfills as always before the heart's desire of the biographer. The substance of Nelson, the integration and impetus of all his behavior, continues elusive. In his present avatar, though replete with new detail, the core of the man is no clearer nor better ascertained. (With a mental tremble, one begins to wonder if such a core really exists.) But the biography itself is well blocked out with emphases happily on the less dynamic naval encounters, but the style tends to creak where it should flow and is occasionally archaic.