For once, I know what book this is copied from. A brief internet search confirms it’s The Story of Nelson - a Ladybird ‘Adventure from History’ book by L. Du Garde Peach (which must, surely, be an anagram of the author’s real name - Paul Chadredge? Grace Phadlude? Dr. Claude H. Page? Suggestions welcome). And this time I was lucky enough to hold onto the book for several months, which means the next few pages are pretty much all Nelson. First impression: this is a story about posh free men being celebrated when their so-called achievements were built on the back of oppression, slavery and state-sanctioned murder. It’s not usually possible to be entirely sure whose side the author is on in these books, especially when both sides of the story are told, but when the book’s all about him and the opening sentence hails him as “the greatest fighting sailor England has ever known,” it’s a safe bet they’re on Nelson’s. Not that I’m here to dispute that. I know piss all about him, despite having copied out all this lovely text. I’m not in a massive hurry to learn any more. But I have nothing against the guy. I’m just reacting to what’s written here. And what I see here is a story of a boy who managed to leapfrog his way to command by virtue of having a well-connected uncle, and when he became that officer, what he actually commanded was not a ‘ship’ or a ‘fleet’ but a sizeable number of ill-treated, malnourished slaves who were expected to die by falling from great heights whenever he needed ferrying about. I know, I know - if he hadn’t existed, we’d all be speaking French, yeah yeah yeah whatever. Doesn’t change the basic facts. So many of these stories about English ‘heroes’ are about people in dominant positions ordering about people in subservient postions so their own lives can be better at everyone else’s expense. And we Norman invaders kind of speak French anyway.* I suppose the text is trying to get me to put myself in Nelson’s shoes here - how small and lonely he must have felt! With only his powerful, well-connected uncle to shield him from the press gang. And who knows? Maybe after a few more pages I’ll feel better about the kid, as he grows into the master strategist everybody says he is and flowers into England’s “greatest fighting sailor”. For now though I’m going to stay wary and hidden behind my translucent class barrier, expecting his minions to press gang me into fatal servitude at any minute. *As a blonde lad from Yorkshire, I believe I’m likely to have more Scandinavian and Germanic ancestry than French, but I can’t speak for you.
The Story of Nelson: 1
People in the Old Stone Age Guy Fawkes People in the Old Stone Age: 2 People in the Old Stone Age: 3 The New Stone Age People of the Bronze Age The Story of Nelson: 1 The Story of Nelson: 2 The Story of Nelson: 3 Florence Nightingale The Story of Nelson: 4 The Story of Nelson: 5 The Story of Nelson: 6 The Story of Nelson: 7 Christopher Columbus: 1 Christopher Columbus: 2 The Soldier Napoleon Bonaparte Napoleon’s Mother The Queen of Spain The French Revolution The Surrender of Toulon Upon Return From Italy The Armed Revolt Josephine de Beauharnais The Thin Young Man The Little Corporal The Most Famous Man in France A Proposal About Egypt Master of France Weary of War Hero of the People Emperor at 34 Danger Across the Sea Wherever Wood Can Float An Empire in Decline
FAIRBURN The place where I wrote all this rubbish
SCIENCE 1 Sept 1979 - Mar 1980
GEOGRAPHY 1 Sept 1979 - Feb 1981
Great Space Battles Three mighty empires take their first steps into outer space
TERM 1 A day-by-day account of Waen’s first term at Fairburn School
TOPIC 2 The one where it all kicks off
To be continued…
TOPIC 1 Sept-Dec 1979
FAIRBURN The place where I wrote all this rubbish
SCIENCE 1 Sept 1979 - Mar 1980
GEOGRAPHY 1 Sept 1979 - Feb 1981
The Story of Nelson
Part One
TERM 1 A day-by-day account of Waen’s first term at Fairburn School
TERM 2 The birth of the 1980s - Blake’s 7, Blondie and battles in space
To be continued…
For once, I know what book this is copied from. A brief internet search confirms it’s The Story of Nelson - a Ladybird ‘Adventure from History’ book by L. Du Garde Peach (which must, surely, be an anagram of the author’s real name - Paul Chadredge? Grace Phadlude? Dr. Claude H. Page? Suggestions welcome). And this time I was lucky enough to hold onto the book for several months, which means the next few pages are pretty much all Nelson. First impression: this is a story about posh free men being celebrated when their so-called achievements were built on the back of oppression, slavery and state-sanctioned murder. It’s not usually possible to be entirely sure whose side the author is on in these books, especially when both sides of the story are told, but when the book’s all about him and the opening sentence hails him as “the greatest fighting sailor England has ever known,” it’s a safe bet they’re on Nelson’s. Not that I’m here to dispute that. I know piss all about him, despite having copied out all this lovely text. I’m not in a massive hurry to learn any more. But I have nothing against the guy. I’m just reacting to what’s written here. And what I see here is a story of a boy who managed to leapfrog his way to command by virtue of having a well-connected uncle, and when he became that officer, what he actually commanded was not a ‘ship’ or a ‘fleet’ but a sizeable number of ill- treated, malnourished slaves who were expected to die by falling from great heights whenever he needed ferrying about. I know, I know - if he hadn’t existed, we’d all be speaking French, yeah yeah yeah whatever. Doesn’t change the basic facts. So many of these stories about English ‘heroes’ are about people in dominant positions ordering about people in subservient postions so their own lives can be better at everyone else’s expense. And we Norman invaders kind of speak French anyway.* I suppose the text is trying to get me to put myself in Nelson’s shoes here - how small and lonely he must have felt! With only his powerful, well-connected uncle to shield him from the press gang. And who knows? Maybe after a few more pages I’ll feel better about the kid, as he grows into the master strategist everybody says he is and flowers into England’s “greatest fighting sailor”. For now though I’m going to stay wary and hidden behind my translucent class barrier, expecting his minions to press gang me into fatal servitude at any minute. *As a blonde lad from Yorkshire, I believe I’m likely to have more Scandinavian and Germanic ancestry than French, but I can’t speak for you.
Great Space Battles Three mighty empires take their first steps into outer space