Nelson’ Navy in 100 Objects
The Royal Navy of Nelson’s time was such a huge organisation, that it is sometimes hard to comprehend its full scope. Indeed, during the Napoleonic Wars it was by far the largest employer in the entire world. Not only did the Royal Navy maintain a fleet of close on 1,000 ships, including over 100 line of battle ships, but it was also responsible for the entire organisation of maintaining them at sea. From the recruitment of crews, the maintenance and protection of bases throughout the world, the production and delivery of food supplies to feed this vast fleet and the procurement of naval supplies to keep the ships at sea, it was all the responsibility of this vast organisation. The Royal Navy was often Britain’s last line of defence and many of its most successful officers became superstars, although none eclipsed Admiral Lord Nelson, who became the personification of the Navy. The whole country revelled in their successes and ‘Jolly Jack Tar’ became a source of national pride and a huge number of naval terms were taken into normal life and many are often still used to this very day. “Nelson’s Navy in 100 Objects” investigates all aspects of this incredible organisation and the lives of the men who served within it, including Nelson himself, using historical artefacts and naval terms that are now part of everyday language to illustrate them.
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