Author and Historian

The Pursuit of Victory: the life and achievement of Horatio Nelson

(Allen Lane, Penguin, 2005, paperback, 2006)

Winner of the Mountbatten Maritime Medal, 2005, British Naval Charitable Foundation; the Duke of Westminster’s Medal for Military Literature, 2005, Royal United Services Institute and the Anderson Medal awarded in 2005 by the Society for Nautical Research.

'The only complete and fully scholarly life of Nelson ever to have been published . . . and authority which none of his rivals can match'
N.A.M. Rodger, The Times Literary Supplement

'The best Life of Nelson that we are ever likely to see'
Geoffrey Moorhouse, Guardian

The starting point of Roger Knight's magnificent new biography is to explain how Nelson achieved such extraordinary success. Knight places him firmly in the context of the Royal Navy at the time. He analyses Nelson's more obvious qualities, his leadership strengths and his coolness and certainty in battle, and also explores his strategic grasp, the condition of his ships, the skill of his seamen and his relationships with the officers around him - including those who could hardly be called friendly.

'Superb . . . stunning . . . a picture of the most vivid humanity'
Simon Heffer, Literary Review

This biography takes a cool look at Nelson's status as a hero and demolishes many of the myths that were so carefully established by the early authors, and repeated by their modern successors. Nelson was a shrewd political operator who charmed and impressed political leaders and whose advancement was helped by the relatively weak generation of admirals above him. He was a difficult subordinate, only happy when completely in command, and capable of great ruthlessness. He was flawed, but brilliant - and not to be crossed.

'Magisterial . . . Almost every page contains an intriguing insight into Britain's greatest maritime hero . . . the accounts of major actions - Cape St Vincent, Santa Cruz, the Nile, Copenhagen and Trafalgar - are as exciting as any I've read'
Andrew Roberts, Mail on Sunday

'There is every reason to think that this superb work will become the definitive Nelson biography' Economist

Award Presentation Countess Mountbatten presenting Roger Knight with the Mountbatten Maritime Prize 2005,
awarded by the British Maritime Charitable Foundation

Pursuit of Victory

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This cartoon by Kipper Williams
appeared in the Sunday Times when
‘Pursuit of Victory’ was published

nelson - French

Ten years after the publication of The Pursuit of Victory: the Life and Achievement of Horatio Nelson in English ( Allen Lane, Penguin,) it has been translated into French. The title of the translation is L’Amiral Nelson, it runs to 798 pages, and is published by Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, a group of university presses, centred on Lille. The translator is Daniel Verheyde. The translation was an unusual project, for Nelson hardly features in French historiography. Robert Southey’s Life of Nelson, published in 1813, was translated in the 1820s, but there have been none, so far as is known, since then.

L'amiral Nelson septiron