Nelson confides

1792. Keen to escape a stifling home life and explore the world, Sim Roberts joins the Royal Navy. Jolly Jack Tar doesn’t know what to make of a nice 14-year-old of the middling classes. And the feeling is mutual. Then the war begins…

Admiral Lord Nelson is revered by his men. As the only seaman to serve in Nelson’s ship for every one of his four great Fleet Actions, Sim knows exactly why.

This adventure follows Sim’s progress from dazed and confused Landsman to respected Bosun’s Mate across 14 epic years of the war against France, culminating at Trafalgar.

Published: October 2023 ● Pages: 450


Part One: 1792-97 ~ Theia, Captain & St. Vincent

Chapter I – In which I first set eyes upon Captain Nelson

Chapter II – Reflexions upon the First Article of War

Chapter III – In which the Ship’s Company observe the Lord’s Day according to law

Chapter IV – In which I conduct the Reader upon a tour of H. M. Ship Captain, whether he wishes it or no

Chapter V – In which we begin to become used our new circumstances

Chapter VI – In which I relate my joining the Navy, as I ought to have done at the start of this book

Chapter VII – In which I become a seaman

Chapter VIII – Reflexions upon the Twentieth Article of War

Chapter IX – In which I meet my messmates

Chapter X – In which I learn seafaring

Chapter XI – In which the blockade of Brest begins

Chapter XII – In which I make purchases and observe, with no little perplexity, certain other transactions

Chapter XIII – Reflexions upon the Second & Thirty-Fifth Articles of War

Chapter XIV – In which I endeavour to make plain the points of the compass

Chapter XV – In which the blockade of Brest is, and is not, carried forward

Chapter XVI – In which I come to know the meaning of “storm”

Chapter XVII – Wherein our squadron protects the Gulf of Genoa & we become fiercer foes to the King’s Enemies

Chapter XVIII – Concerning Leghorn

Chapter XIX – Reflexions upon the Article of War that none wrote

Chapter XX – Wherein we are beset by many changes

Chapter XXI – Reflexions upon the Fifteenth Article of War

Chapter XXII – Wherein I see Gibralter, Lisbon and, with surprizing clarity, Cadiz

Chapter XXIII – Reflexions upon the Twenty-eighth and Thirty-second Articles of War

Chapter XXIV – Wherein we get wind of the Enemy Fleet

Chapter XXV – Reflexions upon the Twelfth Article of War

Chapter XXVI – Wherein we bring the Enemy to action at Cape St. Vincent

Part Two: 1797-98 ~ Captain, Vanguard & The Nile

Chapter XXVII – Wherein we repair much of the damage occasioned by the late Battle, but not all

Chapter XXVIII – Wherein I recall the loss of Theia in 1794

Chapter XXIX – In which Admiral Nelson shifts his Flag and Captain goes for a refit

Chapter XXX – In which I get a new Ship under a new Captain, whom I know of old, and pipe aboard an unexpected Admiral

Chapter XXXI – In which I return to the Mediterranean

Chapter XXXII – In which our Squadron becomes a Fleet

Chapter XXXIII – The Battle of the Nile

Chapter XXXIV – Wherein we repair damages

Chapter XXXV – Wherein we take our leave of Egypt

Part Three: 1798-1801 ~ Vanguard, Keen, Elephant & Copenhagen

Chapter XXXVI – Wherein Nelson becomes much occupied

Chapter XXXVII – Acting Bosun Sim Roberts!

Chapter XXXVIII – In which I am ashore for a longer time than I would

Chapter XXXIX – In which I go into a new Ship once more

Chapter XL – In which a happy year flits past

Chapter XLI – In which we turn to larboard

Chapter XLII – Wherein we bring Copenhagen in view

Chapter XLIII – The Battle of Copenhagen

Chapter XLIV – We conclude our business with the Danes and sail into the Baltic

Part Four: 1801-05 ~ Elephant, Ambuscade, France, Isis, Victory, Merton & Trafalgar

Chapter XLV – Sweden, Russia, Prussia and Home

Chapter XLVI – In which I cross the Atlantic Ocean only to return

Chapter XLVII – Wherein I walk about, without let or hindrance, in France!

Chapter XLVIII – Wherein we engage in a long, long chace

Chapter XLIX – Wherein Vice-Admiral The Right Honourable The Viscount Nelson takes greater notice of me than ever I thought possible

Chapter L – Off Cadiz, we trail our coat-tails before the Enemy

Chapter LI – The Battle of Trafalgar

Chapter LII – Wherein we battle two storms: one of wind and the other of sorrow

Part Five: 1806-10 ~ Ashore

Chapter LIII – Wherein a Nation laments its Hero

Chapter LIV – In which I return home

Chapter LV – In which I begin a new life

Chapter LVI – In which my tale reaches its end


Chapter I

Battle of the Nile (extract)

At Merton Place (extract)

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“The narrator is good company: curious, intelligent, and blessed with a fine sense of humor”

“Engaging, well paced, fascinating - already missing it”

“A big Patrick O’Brian fan, and it shows”

“An astonishing piece of writing – I marvel at the level of detail of daily life and seamanship”

“Absolutely authentic – very engrossing”

“Great book. Well researched. Love the characters. Sounds like it was written by a sailor who was actually there.”

“I can recommend it highly. I am especially impressed with the note-perfect language, punctuation and turns of phrase”