The author of God's Secretaries here uses the battle of Trafalgar to examine ideas of heroism and the heroic. Is violence a necessary aspect of the hero? And daring? Why did the cult of the hero flower in the late 18th and 19th centuries in a way it hadn't for 200 years? Was the figure of Lord Horatio Nelson an aberration in Enlightenment England—or was the English military hero simply a product of his time? Adam Nicolson evokes the realities of battle, but also probes the hearts and minds of the men who were there.
"Equals anything to be found in the novels of Patrick O'Brian.... Nicolson's book stands out from among its rivals."—Sunday Telegraph (London)
"Strikingly original.... Mr. Nicolson brings to life superbly the horror, devastation, and gore of Trafalgar."—Economist (London)