Nelson‘s private letters on show at Monmouth museum

Wednesday 27th August 2008 10:00 pm
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HISTORY enthusiasts will get a chance to see original letters written by, or to, or about the famous admiral at Monmouth's Nelson Museum next month.

The museum holds hundreds of the letters and to mark the 250th anniversary in September of Nelson's birth, the temporary exhibition selects key personal letters  to give an insight into his relationships with close family members, including his father, brothers and sisters.

Curator of the Museum, Andrew Helme said, "The letters show how Nelson and his family reacted to the wife he brought home from the West Indies; his spectacular rise to fame as national hero; his notorious love affair with Lady Hamilton and the birth of their illegitimate daughter; and also the destruction his marriage.

"They show the pleasure and pride of the clergyman father over the achievements of his son contrasted with the self-interest of Nelson's older brother, also a clergyman, who reaped the rewards of Horatio's triumphs. Family loyalties and affections were tested and torn by Nelson's love for the vivacious Emma Hamilton, leaving his wife isolated and distraught." From a time when the only means of long-distance personal communication was by hand-written paper document, these surviving letters offer a direct and intimate connection to Nelson and his blood relatives.

The exhibition runs from September 6 to November 2. Admission is free and the Museum is open daily from  11am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm Monday to Saturday. Opening hors on Sunday are from 2pm to 5pm.

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