Everyone knows that once you become obsessed with something, you must blog about it. So, here's my blog :)
Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson was undoubtedly one of England's greatest heroes, keeping Napoleon and the French from our shores. So, a worthy subject for an obsession, I'm sure you'll agree.
The obsession began in October 2011. I'd been bought a book called This Sceptred Isle by my Dad for my birthday in May and had just got round to reading it (going back to work after maternity leave gave me plenty of free time on the 1.5 hour commute in and out of London!). It's a history of Britain, and I enjoyed it greatly, especially that which covered the Tudor era which I've always been fascinated in. But then I reached the pages about Nelson. Something clicked. I don't know what it was, but something about the 'little Admiral' as he was once called, and his many contradictions - ruthless yet compassionate, vain yet insecure, impetuous but focused, physically maimed yet driven by duty and spirit, dismissive of his serious injuries yet troubled by imagined illnesses; but, above all else, a charismatic genius, that drew me in.
Having previously, like many people I think, not known much more about Nelson beyond that he won Trafalgar and perches on top of a column in London, I embarked upon a pursuit of an interest that has since more or less taken over my spare time.
Since then I have set about reading every book I can get my hands on, collecting memorabilia (and my pride and joy, a scale model of HMS Victory) and have had to acquire a bookcase to dedicate solely to my collection. My visits to the British Library to view Nelson letters and journals first-hand has become an addiction (the smell of 200-year-old paper in a leather binding is mmmmm). I visited his tomb in St Paul's Cathedral, an experience that so touched me that it deserves a blog entry of its own.
My enthusiasm has brought me a reputation, as this birthday and Mother's Day I received Nelson-related presents! I think I've also sparked an interest in Nelson in people who I've spoken to about him, and that's what I'd like to continue to do.
This blog is to record my continuing journey of discovery into Nelson and his navy. I'm also beginning work on a website, so updates to that as well as other random snippets, will be recorded here for prosperity!