Again copied from L Du Garde Peach’s The Story of Nelson, this page takes us on a couple of Nelson’s early voyages as a fifteen-year-old Captain’s Coxswain - one on the Carcass, which took him to the arctic (an illustration from which can be seen on the previous page) and another on the Seahorse (which we’ll hear more about next time). The bit that interests me most though is the bit that’s almost skipped over, where Peach casually drops in a mention of a teenage voyage to the West Indies. We’ll briefly go there again later in the book, but I feel like this needs flagging up as another tentpole in my socialist crusade against the tyranny of Ladybird books. Just yesterday (at the time of writing, in January 2022), four people were cleared of criminal damage charges at a jury trial in Bristol, after having been identified as part of a group that famously tore down a statue of noted wine merchant, philanthropist, Tory MP and slave trafficker Edward Colston who, in his time at the Royal African Company, was responsible for the enslavement of over 84,000 Africans, many thousands of whom were children. Every single one of these people was forcibly shipped out to the Americas to be sold to conquerors and colonists who weren’t satisfied with merely displacing the people who already lived there and stealing their land and resources - they also felt it necessary to displace people from other continents as well, in order to force them to live on the stolen land and steal the resulting resources on their behalf. An estimated 19,000 died on the way. And that’s just in the twelve years Colston was there. Mercifully, the jury took all this into account when assessing the fate of the Colston Four and almost unanimously found them not guilty. So forgive me when I see a fleeting mention of the West Indies and immediately think about the slave trade. Colston died well before Nelson was born and the Royal African Company had already dissolved into non-existence by the time he took his first steps. But slavery wasn’t abolished in Britain until the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, several decades after Nelson’s death. Which means that slavery was still very much a thing while he was alive, and that’s what the West Indies were all about. That’s what the British Empire was built on. Don’t get me wrong - I’m not trying to imply that Nelson was somehow directly involved in the slave trade - as I’ve said before, I don’t know anything about him and I don’t have any particular axe to grind. I’m just reacting to what I see. And what I see is someone insidiously planting ideas in my head about heroism and courage, while conveniently leaving out all the other, more interesting stuff about domination, privilege, brutality and conquest. We’re being encouraged to see one side without seeing the other, and these casual mentions of “oh and by the way he went to the West Indies once” feed right into it. No wonder I hated History, when they took all the good stuff out. Just a cursory Googling of Nelson’s relationship with slavery and I discover that it’s been quite a hot topic in recent years, that Nelson did indeed have views on slavery and they weren’t necessarily on the side of the enslaved. Indeed, you could argue that his entire career was based on the protection of British slavers’ interests, and the way he’s been lionised since his death was a way for those people to convince us to accept those interests as inherently progressive and benevolent. Which is all great stuff to learn about. It’s a shame when those bits get removed or, even worse, rewritten. What’s the point of History if we don’t use it to understand the past? Forgive me. I certainly don’t want to stoke another battle in the culture wars. But it’s very important for me to twist the facts to my liberal agenda, and these Ladybird books provide excellent fuel.
The Story of Nelson: 3
The Story of Nelson - Part 3
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
Great Space Battles Three mighty empires take their first steps into outer space
TOPIC 1 He knows the names of all the dinosaurs
TOPIC 2 The one where it all kicks off
Ward’s 7 John Ward and his band of rebels fight the evil Federation
Fiends of the Eastern Front Vampires, paraphrased from 2000 AD
Tedosaurus Prehistoric fun with a teddy bear the size of a dinosaur!
Apeth Badly-spelt high-jinks with a purple gorilla from outer space!
Captain Carnivore Gary Shepherd is hunted down by a deadly flying meteor
HELP ME KEEP THIS WEBSITE ALIVE
TERM 2 The birth of the 1980s - Blake’s 7, Blondie and battles in space
TOPIC 1 Sept-Dec 1979
FAIRBURN The place where I wrote all this rubbish
The Forgotten World John and Mick fall foul of some extreme potholing
TERM 2 The birth of the 1980s - Blake’s 7, Blondie and battles in space
Ward’s 7 John Ward and his band of rebels fight the evil Federation
The Story of Nelson
Part Three
The Fugitive A man runs - but who is he? And what is he running from?
The Flame in the Desert An evil fire threatens the safety of the world
The Story of Nelson - Part 3
Again copied from L Du Garde Peach’s The Story of Nelson, this page takes us on a couple of Nelson’s early voyages as a fifteen-year-old Captain’s Coxswain - one on the Carcass, which took him to the arctic (an illustration from which can be seen on the previous page) and another on the Seahorse (which we’ll hear more about next time). The bit that interests me most though is the bit that’s almost skipped over, where Peach casually drops in a mention of a teenage voyage to the West Indies. We’ll briefly go there again later in the book, but I feel like this needs flagging up as another tentpole in my socialist crusade against the tyranny of Ladybird books. Just yesterday (at the time of writing, in January 2022), four people were cleared of criminal damage charges at a jury trial in Bristol, after having been identified as part of a group that famously tore down a statue of noted wine merchant, philanthropist, Tory MP and slave trafficker Edward Colston who, in his time at the Royal African Company, was responsible for the enslavement of over 84,000 Africans, many thousands of whom were children. Every single one of these people was forcibly shipped out to the Americas to be sold to conquerors and colonists who weren’t satisfied with merely displacing the people who already lived there and stealing their land and resources - they also felt it necessary to displace people from other continents as well, in order to force them to live on the stolen land and steal the resulting resources on their behalf. An estimated 19,000 died on the way. And that’s just in the twelve years Colston was there. Mercifully, the jury took all this into account when assessing the fate of the Colston Four and almost unanimously found them not guilty. So forgive me when I see a fleeting mention of the West Indies and immediately think about the slave trade. Colston died well before Nelson was born and the Royal African Company had already dissolved into non-existence by the time he took his first steps. But slavery wasn’t abolished in Britain until the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, several decades after Nelson’s death. Which means that slavery was still very much a thing while he was alive, and that’s what the West Indies were all about. That’s what the British Empire was built on. Don’t get me wrong - I’m not trying to imply that Nelson was somehow directly involved in the slave trade - as I’ve said before, I don’t know anything about him and I don’t have any particular axe to grind. I’m just reacting to what I see. And what I see is someone insidiously planting ideas in my head about heroism and courage, while conveniently leaving out all the other, more interesting stuff about domination, privilege, brutality and conquest. We’re being encouraged to see one side without seeing the other, and these casual mentions of “oh and by the way he went to the West Indies once” feed right into it. No wonder I hated History, when they took all the good stuff out. Just a cursory Googling of Nelson’s relationship with slavery and I discover that it’s been quite a hot topic in recent years, that Nelson did indeed have views on slavery and they weren’t necessarily on the side of the enslaved. Indeed, you could argue that his entire career was based on the protection of British slavers’ interests, and the way he’s been lionised since his death was a way for those people to convince us to accept those interests as inherently progressive and benevolent. Which is all great stuff to learn about. It’s a shame when those bits get removed or, even worse, rewritten. What’s the point of History if we don’t use it to understand the past? Forgive me. I certainly don’t want to stoke another battle in the culture wars. But it’s very important for me to twist the facts to my liberal agenda, and these Ladybird books provide excellent fuel.
HELP ME KEEP THIS WEBSITE ALIVE