A  FOR EMPIRES by Pearl Frye


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A closely authenticated biographical novel of the young Nelson, and his tortuous progress to recognition as a naval genius -- a book that those who rejoice in minutiae of naval engagements, , strategy, will find absorbingly interesting. This period of Nelson's life compasses his restless desire for action, starting with his landlocked Norfolk days, when marriage palled, and his one desire was a ship of his own, befitting his captain's rank, and going on through the Mediterranean engagements, as Captain of the A under Lord Hood Touson, Corsica, Calvi, where he lost an eye; daring turned into victory at St. Vincent; failure at Tenerife, where he lost an arm -- and finally, against the loud voice of criticism and doubt, brilliant achievement against the French fleet at the Battle of the Nile. Briefly, for a magic three days, he fell under the spell of Lady Hamilton in Naples, only thereafter to avoid temptation by running away, though she haunted him incessantly. That phase of his life was not part of this game for empires. There is much of Forester's quality in this tale, and Hornblower has borrowed more than a little from the Nelson we see in these pages, a fully realized man, ambitious, rebellious, oddly shy and eager to share the slender sheaf of glory that comes his way. At times the book is overwritten; at times even the armchair strategist will find it too detailed. But it is a book that will bring a vital figure and a period that carried foretaste of our own to a new public...(This hears no resemblance in either substance or handling to her earlier )

Pub Date: Aug. 21st, 1950
Publisher: Little, Brown