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  • Published: 27 September 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448129560
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 1040


The Sword of Albion

Undoubtedly the most comprehensive and intimate biography of Nelson ever written, The Sword of Albion encompasses the high dramas of the Battles of the Nile, Copenhagen and Trafalgar.

The Sword of Albion concludes the most comprehensive and intimate life of Nelson ever written, one that teems with a glittering array of sailors and civilians, heroes and villains, husbands, wives and lovers.

Here are Nelson's famous victories at the battles of the Nile, Copenhagen and Trafalgar as well as his lesser-known yet equally gripping campaigns. But behind the military prowess is a man riven with paradoxes and schisms: the fighting admiral and the glory-hunter, the national hero and the indigent commoner, the family man and the adulterer.

This is an epic, triumphant and tragic life, and a masterpiece of the biographer's art.

  • Published: 27 September 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448129560
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 1040

About the author

John Sugden

Born and raised in Yorkshire, author and lecturer John Sugden holds degrees from the Universities of Leeds, Lancaster and Sheffield, and has pursued historical research in archives throughout Britain and North America. His books include biographies of Sir Francis Drake and the Native American chief, Tecumseh. He is a member of the Society for Nautical Research.

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Praise for Nelson

An absolutely excellent book. Every bit is beautifully judged

William Leith, Evening Standard

Sweeping, thrilling and psychologically acute, this second volume in John Sugden’s biography will hardly be bettered...this book is a monumental achievement. Some readers may be daunted by its length, but the investment of time and effort is unquestionably worth it... It is a tribute to Sugden’s skill that as Nelson lies stricken below desks, gasping for air, blood pouring into his chest, his officers biting back the tears and Hardy desperately wringing his hand, you pray that somehow, against all sense and reason, England’s greatest hero might just pull through

Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times

The Last eight years of his [Nelson’s] life dealt with in thrilling, monumental detail

Sunday Times

There isn’t the slightest hint of modishness in Sugden’s study, which not only has all the old-fashioned scholarly virtues but is also, in the time-honoured tradition of naval history, a thumping good read


John Sugden’s utterly epic Nelson: The Sword of Albion is the longest, richest, most absorbing biography I’ve ever read… Sugden’s book is of Tolstoyan dimensions

Roger Lewis, Daily Mail

A superb biography

Andrew Roberts, Sunday Telegraph

An authoritative account of Nelson’s dramatic naval and personal life... In prose of admiral clarity Sugden binds together the strategy, tactics and of course battles, with powerful evocations of their tumult and horror, into lively narrative

Robert Steward, Spectator

John Sugden has written a splendid book about this great Christian warrior

Paul Johnson, Tablet

A good read

Paul Johnson, Spectator

Meticulous in its coverage, acute in its psychological assessments, and gripping in its accounts of his game-changing victories

Andrew Holgate, Sunday Times

Sugden has gone through a good deal of unpublished material and this two-volume work will remain standard for many years... it is also a good read

Paul Johnson, Spectator

John Sugden’s achievement is to understand both Nelson the admiral and Nelson the tortured individual ... These two volumes exemplify the art of biography ... They are, and will remain, indispensible

Ben Wilson, Literary Review

A book of consistent clarity of writing and argument. It weaves a rich tapestry around the Admiral

Times Literary Supplement

A carefully nuanced yet ultimately admiring depiction of the Norfolk hero

Sunday Telegraph

Sugden has packed so much, but what is most refreshing about this book is that it is no hagiography. This is Nelson, the hero and the man, warts and all

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