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The Year Of Trafalgar

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Length: 168 pages3 hours

Summary

A happy idea carried to excellent completion by very competent hands is the best description of The Year of Trafalgar, by Henry Newbolt. It is not likely that this year of splendid memory will find a worthier literary tribute than this delightful volume. Mr. Newbolt’s is much more than a familiar story, gracefully retold. He has made an exhaustive study of all the details of the Naval Campaign of 1805, and his narrative is of distinct historical value. As might have been expected, Mr. Newbolt writes with deliberate sobriety and restraint. Great deeds are best told simply, and the last glorious chapter in the life of Nelson needs no literary embellishment. Every danger besetting a task full of difficulty is evaded. He is not laboured, nor pedantic, nor sentimental, but rather tells the great story in a direct and manly way, eminently befitting the subject. His is a book which every boy should read in "Nelson’s year," and no Briton of any age will read it unmoved. It was a happy thought to add to the narrative an anthology of Trafalgar poetry. It is a little curious, as Mr. Newbolt points out, how our greatest warlike achievements have received scant treatment from our poets. The "Victory " has been less fortunate than "The Revenge" or "The Temeraire." Strange that it did not rouse the war-bugle of Campbell to an immortal strain. Of all the verses, Mr. Newbolt’s own are perhaps the best. Some day, we trust, he will give us a song of Nelson to rank in all future patriotic anthologies with his incomparable "Drake’s Drum," "The Fighting Temeraire," and "The Ballad of the Bold Menelaus."—The Bookman 1905.

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