horatio nelson had a passionate belief in his ability to become a hero. his famous naval career began in 1771 when he was only twelve years old, and ended with his death at the battle of trafalgar on 21st october 1805. his victories and great courage caught the public imagination, and he was indeed considered a hero, both in his own lifetime and in the victorian period following his death.
almost 200 years later, he is still a character that arouses great interest. nelson himself, his family and friends, left a great many letters, diaries and other materials that give us the evidence on which to base a study of his life.
the period of nelsons lifetime was one in which agricultural and industrial revolution and population growth led to enormous economic and social changes. the tremendous expansion of manufacture was to provide the impetus for british expansion into the world in a search for markets in which to trade its goods. the royal navy woul...
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