By the time Nelson arrived home from Europe in 1800, he was not only the ‘Hero of the Nile’, but the subject of intense gossip because of his affair with Emma Hamilton.
On his return to London various artists set to work to further immortalize him. In recognition of his Norfolk origins, this portrait was commissioned by the City of Norwich. It depicts Nelson with an air of quiet self-confidence and is considered the most faithful likeness of him.
The outpourings of a nation filled column miles of newspapers, magazines, broadsheets and special publications. Below are a few of the quotes that report the rise of the great admiral and the loss the nation experienced on news of his death at Trafalgar on 21 October, 1805.
It was an extraordinary life and a noble death. Nelson captured the heart of the common man, but his relationship with the admiralty and the ‘establishment’ was often strained. He was a man with a vision of himself as one of England’s sons and had the gift to sweep up many an Englishman in that vision. Let them, especially his chosen ‘Band of Brothers’, his officers, speak of this immortal soul: