That Hamilton Woman
Emma, much maligned by her contemporaries and later by historians and commentators, rose from the most humble beginnings to play a startling role in Britain’s naval victory over France and Spain in 1805. In this new book, Barry Gough seeks to defend Emma by drawing on the letters between the protagonists and the unpublished examination of her career by Arthur Marder, famed American historian of the Royal Navy. The author shows how this most talented and beautiful of women fell victim to innuendo, slander, and cruel caricature. She was to die in poverty in Calais in 1815, just months before Napoleon’s final defeat.
Richly illustrated throughout, the book shows Emma in all her glory, likely the most painted woman of her age. Depicting Emma sympathetically as a woman trapped in circumstances of her own making, Gough places Emma Hamilton as one of the forces that gave the Royal Navy its will to fight and conquer.