Published April 29, 2019
Reference - 474 Pages
ISBN 9781911248392 - CAT# K399977
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This volume was published in 1903 by a young Cambridge graduate student, as a result of a controversy which started in 1897 over Nelson’s actions in Naples when he brought the British fleet to Naples in late June 1799.
This lengthy and bitter argument was between F P Badham and the Society’s founder, Sir John Knox Laughton (1830-1915), who was cooperating with the American strategic writer Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan USN (1840-1914). Gutteridge was commissioned by Laughton to gather and edit documents from British and Italian archives to help settle the argument.
Gutteridge edited 167 documents in this volume, mostly written in June 1799, by the main participants in the crisis, including Nelson, the King and Queen of Naples, Sir William Hamilton, Cardinal Ruffo and Captain Edward Foote, the grandfather of F J Badham.
After considerable effort in Naples Gutteridge compared most of the existing published documents with the originals and also discovered forty new letters between Nelson and Neapolitan Prime Minister Sir John Acton, and the correspondence between Maria Carolina and Lady Hamilton. Gutteridge also used key passages from the logs of Nelson’s flagship HMS Foudroyant and Foote’s Seahorse.
The material is accompanied by a very detailed narrative introduction, probably the longest in the Society’s history, and the volume is indispensable for this complex period.