Nelson's victory at Trafalgar on 21 October 1805 was a pivotal event in European history. Drawing on diaries, letters and newspapers, Tom Pocock provides a vivid picture of the years from 1801 to 1805, and of people wittingly or unwittingly caught up in these unique events.
Nelson's victory at Trafalgar on 21 October 1805 was a pivotal event in European history. But Trafalgar was not simply an isolated battle fought and won in an afternoon - the naval campaign had in fact begun more than four years before. This extraordinary period, following Napoleon's threat to invade England in 1801, came to be known as The Great Terror, and Britain was on the alert. As the Grande Armee faced a Dad's army of English volunteers across the Channel, a secret war of espionage and subversion was fought in the shadows. New weapons - rockets, submarines and torpedoes - were developed. Even during the year's lull following the Peace of Amiens, when English tourists flocked to Paris (some to be entertained by a bland Napoleon with a reassuring bust of Nelson behind him on the chimneypiece), the secret war continued.Drawing on diaries, letters and newspapers, Tom Pocock provides a vivid picture of the years from 1801 to 1805, and of people wittingly or unwittingly caught up in these unique events: Nelson himself as he blockaded the French at sea for two unbroken years, his love Emma Hamilton waiting at home, Jane Austen and her naval brothers, the diarist Fanny Burney, the admirals, generals and politicians, as well as the lesser-known men such as Fulton, Congreve, Moreau and Pichegru who waged the secret war on either side of the Channel.
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'"The Terror Before Trafalgar" is narrative history at its shining best' -- The Economist 'This is a most engaging book ... at its best it is classic Pocock, and his fans will not be disappointed' -- The Spectator 'Mr Pocock's book is a lucid exposition of this vibrantly exciting period' -- Lloyd's List 'An extremely accomplished history of an interesting period' -- The Good Book Guide 20031101 'Tom Pocock brings to life Nelson's times' -- Yorkshire Post 20031227
About Tom Pocock
Tom Pocock has been described as the foremost authority on Nelson. He is the author of eight books about the admiral and his time and 'Horatio Nelson' was runner-up for the Whitbread Biography Award. During many years in Fleet Street, he was also Naval Correspondent of 'The Times' and Defence Correspondent of the London Evening Standard. He lives in London and Norfolk.
Table of Contents
Nelson speaking to the French; a great surprise indeed; a young man intoxicated with success; the buzz of war; a fearful day is preparing; then to invasion be defiance given; to overthrow the tyrant; let us be masters of the world; a sweet kiss will be ample reward; lose not a moment, England is ours; a great and glorious victory; why, 'tis I, little Johnny Bull.
The Terror Before Trafalgar by Tom Pocock
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Hodder & Stoughton General Division
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