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I have had a request for help from Teresa Michals, a student at George Mason University in the US who is working on a project on amputee officers in the 18th century Royal Navy, with the intention of placing Nelson and his peers’ disabilities within the context of naval culture. The project traces connections between these figures, as well as considering how physical impairment worked with the Navy’s larger structures of patronage and promotion, and the physical demands of life, and warfare, at sea during the age of sail.
Any ideas for research would be much appreciated.
I have suggested looking at the visual culture associated with amputees – how they were represented and how that changed over time.
Could you also look at how many of the sailors at say Greenwich were amputees and what those records say about them?
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