The Collection of a Connoisseur: History in Manuscript

The Collection of a Connoisseur: History in Manuscript

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 95. NELSON | autograph letter signed, to Emma, Lady Hamilton, 1801.

NELSON | autograph letter signed, to Emma, Lady Hamilton, 1801

Lot Closed

July 15, 02:31 PM GMT


8,000 - 12,000 GBP

Lot Details




a letter of longing and frustration, explaining that a brief shore leave "will not satisfy me and only fill my heart with grief at separating", as his hope is that they will soon be able to live together ("...I am one of those who really believe we are on the Eve of Peace..."), referring to their daughter Horatia ("....I shall long to have the picture of the little one you will send it me, and very soon I shall see the original and then I shall be happy..."), reflecting with some melancholy on the recent death of friends, and then turning to various domestic subjects such as Emma's extravagance in employing a herald ("...they are devils for running up a bill...") and the niceties of their ménage a trois with Sir William Hamilton, 4 pages, 4to, integral autograph address panel with franking signature, remains of black wax seal impression, HMS Amazon, Dungeness, 3 October 1801

AN INTIMATE LETTER WRITTEN AS NELSON PREPARED TO BEGIN A NEW DOMESTIC LIFE WITH EMMA HAMILTON. Nelson was on patrol and in command of the Channel Squadron protecting England from invasion when he wrote this letter, but he was correct to think that peace was imminent; in fact the terms of the Peace of Amiens had been agreed two days previously, although news had not yet reached England. The weeks that followed were of great frustration to Nelson as the admiralty were reluctant to allow him to strike his flag, but he was eventually able to leave his ship. Nelson, Sir William and Emma Hamilton lived together for the year of peace, principally at Merton Place near London. 


Christie's, New York, 9 December 1998, lot 40

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