“Gentlemen, when the enemy is committed to a mistake we must not interrupt him too soon.”
Every time I visit my Italian hairdresser, I leave with a fabulous haircut and an interesting tidbit of history about Italy. For the last 10 years, the history lessons have become a delightful interlude, propelling my drive for more information long after the last snip of hair is swept away. It was during one of those sessions that I first heard about a famous love story.
Everyone loves a love story. Romeo and Juliet, Cleopatra and Mark Anthony, Paolo and Francesca, Napoleon and Josephine, Odysseus and Penelope, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, have been celebrated in literature, music, poetry and in the modern world, movies. Less well-known is the story of the daring Lady Emma Hamilton and the courageous Lord Horatio Nelson.
There was a time when the Lady Hamilton and Lord Nelson were the most famous Britons in the world. One of my primary goals when I visited London was to find evidence of their life together. Their story has it all: romance, power, a revolution, victory and tragedy. They met in Naples, much to the joy of my Italian hairdresser, but the story begins with humble beginnings and London’s sordid underworld.
This week I want to revisit my thoughts on a remarkable woman, who risked all to experience the abundance of life and love.
“I love him, I adore him, my mind and soul is now transported with the thought of that blessed ecstatic moment when I shall see him, embrace him……I must sin on and love him more than ever. It is a crime worth going to Hell for.” Emma Hamilton on Nelson, 1804