March 26th 2005

  Buy Issue 2703

Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: EDITORIAL: Indonesian President in Australia

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Behind the skills shortage in the not-so-clever country

FOREIGN TRADE: The perils of bilateral trade agreements

SCHOOLS: Teacher unions enforcing the gender agenda

SPECIAL FEATURE: Murder and insurrection: Lance Sharkey in Singapore

BIOETHICS: UN backs ban on human cloning

OPINION: Cutting the abortion rate - the political options

THINKERS: Philosopher of greed: Ayn Rand

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Dicing with our future / China rampant / Double standards?

INTERNATIONAL LAW: Behind the Timor Sea Treaty dispute

HONG KONG: China's man in Hong Kong quits

ASIA: Australia has role in great power contest

PAKISTAN: What role should Islam play in Pakistan?

Unemployment only five per cent? (letter)

How can we save our schools? (letter)

Urban riots a 'wake-up call' (letter)

BOOKS: FEWER: How the new demography of depopulation will shape our future

BOOKS: NELSON'S PURSE, by Martyn Downer

Books promotion page

NELSON'S PURSE, by Martyn Downer

by Michael Daniel (reviewer)

News Weekly, March 26, 2005
New light on Nelson

By Martyn Downer

London: Bantam Books
Hardback RRP: $59.95

Almost 200 years after the death of Lord Nelson, one of Britain's greatest heroes, an extraordinary collection of artefacts related to him surfaced.

The author - head of jewellery at Sotheby's of London - during a business trip assembling items for auction, was presented by a client with a diamond brooch whose motif was an anchor and Nelson's initials. This began a search which resulted in the discovery of a chest belonging to Alexander Davison, a close friend of Nelson, containing, amongst other things, the purse Nelson was wearing when he was mortally wounded and a cache of letters.

Despite its title, Nelson's Purse focuses not on Lord Nelson, but rather on his friend, Davison. Born of comparatively humble origins in Northumberland, he sailed for Canada where he amassed a fortune. It was during this period that he and the young Nelson met.

The account explores Davison's subsequent return to England, the rise and fall of his business career and his friendship with Nelson.

Perhaps some of the most interesting items in the case of effects were the letters from Lady Nelson and Emma Hamilton to Davison, which indicate that he was the confidante of both of them, particularly during the period of Nelson's marriage breakdown.

Downer argues that, whereas in the past people have tended to be critical of Lady Nelson, these letters portray a woman who loved her husband deeply and was particularly upset by the breakdown of the marriage.

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