So enjoyed this read - especially after visiting a museum & seeking Nelson's glass eye:)
"England's Tart With a Heart" -- or was she? Popular history tends to romanticize Dame Emma Lyon Hart Hamilton, and this biography doesn't resist the impulse. Her faults, from her neglect of her first daughter to her alcoholism, are excused or quickly passed over; her critics are almost universally portrayed as hypocritical snobs, and those she hurt -- for example, Nelson's wife, Fanny -- are shown in their worst light. I might have more sympathy with her if those she gave her heart to didn't always just happened to be able to advance her, financially and socially. Still, she had many good qualities, especially stamina, generosity and the ability to adapt. If she hadn't done everything possible to rise above her station as a 13-year-old prostitute, she would simply have died, and we would never have heard of her. Kate Wilson's book gives Emma full credit for being a survivor, from a line of female survivors.
Great story, very well researched.
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