When Nan Prunty's mother kept an alehouse in Portsmouth she renamed it The Duchess of Prunty, the title she claimed would have been hers had Lord Nelson lived. He was her lover. She saw him die at Trafalgar, or so she says. The details vary according to the amount of drink she's taken. Nan makes her own determined way in life, but always haunted by the wish to know the truth about her father. From the aging seamen at the Greenwich Hospital to the battlefields of the Crimea, Nan discovers the world is full of people with a story about Nelson. There are questions we can never hope to answer. It doesn't stop us asking.
"Perfect for fans of historical fiction" (Bella)
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An intriguing take on life in the19th century
I have read about Nelson's life, the Victory and his death. This story brought a whole new perspective to Nelson the man. Then there is the huge contrast with the Crimean war, only a decade or so later. It is almost two books in one.
The meeting between mother and daughter in the horrors of the Crimea.
The storytellers change (from mother to daughter). The use of different tones of voice mean one always knows who is telling which part of the story.
I was stunned by the imagination that linked seemingly disparate storylines, but with a very sure thread.
I enjoyed the concept behind the book as much as the story itself. I like historical novels that are set within actual events.
- Vanessa Barrett
A great book!