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Nelson's Daughter

by Miranda Hearn

A fascinating account of the troubled relationships between Nelson, his secret daughter, Horatia and Lady Hamilton. Steeped in historical fact, we learn of Lady Hamilton's sad demise following Nelson's heroic death at Trafalgar and Horatia's survival through difficult times.

Extract

Listening to her from her own room, Horatia hated Emma Hamilton with all her heart. She put her hands over her ears and began to keen behind closed lips, so that the sound of her own voice filled her head. You, you, you, she thought. You are no one's mother, you could never be anyone's mother. You will say any monstrous thing to make people look at you, pity you, take your side. You were in Germany when I was born! Your mind is turning to mud, and you say things only a mad person would say. She was weeping now. Emma was not her mother: she had long since settled that in her mind, a certainty. With all her logic and instinct and the force of her great incredulity, she knew. She wept, not because there was any truth in what Emma was yelling at Fatima on the other side of the wall but because she was yelling at her .... Horatia wished to God that Emma would die. Now, she prayed, tonight. They would take her body back to England and bury her wherever she wished. She and Fatima would go to live with the Matchams, with her aunt and uncle, and George, Catherine, Horace and Charles. Then, terrified, she prayed it all back again.

Parallels

The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory
 

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