Nelson and the Nile: the Creation of Admiral Nelson’s Public Image

By Marianne Czisnik, published February 2002


Nelson’s capture of two superior Spanish ships during the battle of St Vincent initially received little public attention due to its omission from the official report. A month later, newspapers published Nelson’s own account, raising not only public awareness of Nelson but also their desire for memorabilia, usually bearing only a vague passing resemblance to Nelson, no image of Nelson, or occasionally using the image of a different admiral. Following the Battle of the Nile, the public’s insatiable hunger for Nelson memorabilia was catered for by range of sources, some of dubious reliability. Occasionally the real voice of Nelson is heard in the press, but what develops is a public image based upon the extraordinary achievements of the Battle of the Nile.

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Filed under: Nelson | North Sea | French Revolution | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Biography

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