The Nelson Affair (1973)





Director:     .

Starring:     Glenda Jackson (Lady Hamilton),  Peter Finch (Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson), Michael Jayston (Captain Hardy), Anthony Quayle (Lord Minto), Margaret Leighton (Lady Frances Nelson), Dominic Guard (Master George Matcham), Nigel Stock (George Matcham), Barbara Leigh-Hunt (Catherine 'Catty' Matcham), Roland Culver (Lord Barham), Richard Mathews (Rev. William Nelson), Liz Ashley (Sarah Nelson), John Nolan (Capt. Blackwood), André Maranne (Adm. Villeneuve), Clelia Matania (Francesca), Pat Heywood (Emily)..

Country:        British.

In this version of the story Lady Hamilton is little more than a slut (which really wouldn't say much for Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson if it was true).  




Spoiler Warning:






Historical Background:


Lord Horatio Nelson and Lady Emma Hamilton

1758 -- Nelson born in Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk, England

1761-- the future Lady Emma Hamilton born Amy Lyon in Great Neston, Cheshire, England, daughter of a blacksmith; calls herself Emily Hart

1770 -- Horatio Nelson enters the British navy, serving under his uncle, Captain Maurice Suckling

1779 -- he attains the rank of captain

1780 -- battle service in the West Indies; was chosen to instruct Prince William, later William IV, king of Britain, in naval tactics

1781 -- Emily Hart begins to live with Charles Francis Greville, nephew of her future husband, Sir William Hamilton, British envoy to the Kingdom of Naples.

1784 -- commands frigate Boreas, stationed at Antigua, West Indies.

1786 -- Greville sends Emily Hart to Naples to be his uncle's mistress in return for Hamilton's payment of Greville's debts.

1787 -- Nelson married Frances Nisbet.

1791, Sept. -- Emily marries Hamilton and becomes Lady Emma Hamilton, a beautiful woman, whose portrait is frequently painted by George Romney; becomes a great favorite in Neapolitan society; becomes the diplomatic intermediary between her husband and her close friend Queen Maria Carolina of Naples.

1793 -- in the period of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, Nelson serves under Rear Admiral Samuel Hood and assists in the occupation of Toulon by allied British and Spanish forces; meets Lady Emma Hamilton

1794 -- Napoleon drives Allies from Toulon; Nelson assisted Hood in taking towns of Bastia and Calvi in Corsica, and occupies the island; at Calvi Nelson is wounded in the right eye (later losing sight in that eye).

1796 -- Nelson makes commodore.

1797 -- he plays a prominent part in victory off Cape Saint Vincent, Portugal over the fleet of Spain, then allied to France. In July Nelson leads attacks on Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Spanish possession; the attack fails and Nelson, wounded, has to have his right arm amputated.

1780 -- discovers the purpose of the great French fleet gathering at Toulon, Napoleonic invasion of Egypt; at the Battle of the Nile he destroys the French fleet; this cuts Napoleon's line of communication with France and eventually causes him to lose Egypt to the British.

1798, Aug. 1 -- Lady Hamilton facilitates Nelson's victory over the French in the Battle of the Nile (Aug. 1, 1798) by securing Neapolitan permission for his fleet to obtain stores and water in Sicily. After his Nile triumph, Lady Hamilton and Nelson become lovers.

1800 -- when the British government recalls Hamilton, Nelson returns with him and his wife to England, where she flaunts her control over the admiral. They have two daughters, one of whom survives infancy.

1801 -- Nelson becomes vice admiral; in the Battle of Copenhagen, Danish fleet destroyed.

1802-1803 -- Treaty of Amiens temporarily ends fighting between England and France.

1803 -- Lady Emma Hamilton's husband dies and she lives with Nelson at Merton, Surrey.

1803 -- war again; Nelson is appointed commander of the British Mediterranean fleet. He blockades Toulon, where a large French fleet under Vice Admiral Pierre Charles de Villeneuve was preparing to invade England. Nelson forces the French fleet to remain in Toulon for two years before its final escape.

1805 -- French fleet escapes and heads for West Indies, but doubles back to Cádiz. British blockade the city, but Villeneuve finally breaks out and then overwhelming looses to the British off Cape Trafalgar, in Spain, in the Battle of Trafalgar, October 21, 1805. In his flagship Victory he is mortally wounded by a French sharpshooter, and dies as the battle ends. The British victory puts an end to Napoleon's plans for invading England.

1805 -- Lady Hamilton squanders most of her inherited money.

1813-1814 -- she goes to prison for debt (1813-14).

1815 -- she dies in impecunious exile in Calais, France.



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